Has Rodgers Saved Liverpool?
It has been a very interesting spell under the boss at Anfield which has brought about changes to the dynamics and structure of the club. Rodgers implemented his unique passing style of football at his previous club Swansea City which saw them promoted to the premier league. The passing football seen at the Liberty Stadium was mesmerising at times, one and two touch passing from one end to the other usually resulting in a goal or good chance being created. This particular style of passing football could be described as Arsenal or Barcelona-esque with how pressing and winning the ball back quickly with the intent to pass their way through teams. Such tactics could only be performed with willing runners and passers like the lights of Joe Allen who is now currently at Liverpool and Leon Britton who remained at Swansea not following his manager over to Merseyside. Joe Allen in his year at Swansea played the most passes in the premier league and also averaged the most passes a game, proof of the footballing intent at the club, playing it the right way. Swansea often lost under Rodgers due to either not having a plan B in struggling games or lack of height and physicality. Joe Allen, Leon Britton, Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge to name a few were frequent starters in the side and are all very gifted and talented with the ball at their feet but when the opposing team had the ball they struggled. Toe to toe they would not out muscle 9/10 players but BR (Brendan Rodgers) knew this hence the fast paced movement of the all which meant; that the ball was already moving again before any player could be closed down and tackled.
At Liverpool now, Rodgers is equipped with probably one of the most talented midfielders to have stepped on a football pitch Steven Gerard. Accompanying him could be a number of players but, most recently Jordan Henderson who has come on leaps and bounds since BR’s arrival especially this season. The passing range Steven Gerard has is phenomenal which means in just one pass Liverpool could be on the counter attack from anywhere on the pitch. Liverpool had a roller coaster first season with the new manager in charge being very inconsistent but everybody knew it would be a very big transitional period at the club if it was to return to former glory; much like the situation with David Moyes at Manchester United currently. The first half of the season could be summed up as BR trying to find the right formula/players to provide him with the necessary tools to implement his style of play. The second half had some clear contrasting factors; Coutinho and Sturridge. Immediately the little Brazilian magician began to cast his spell over those who visited BR’s red men and he wasn’t his best signing either, the young man from Chelsea was. Coutinho added a creativity the club had been lacking for some years now perhaps the absence of Benayoun? Phillipe has an eye for a pass unlike any other player and the manager fully appreciates the artistry behind his work hence his immediate insertion into the side on return from his injury. BR’s understands how to get the best out of frustrated players like the lights of Sturridge and Suarez. When he spotted Sturridge he realised behind the frustrations at Chelsea he would potentially become a very powerful attacking threat for Liverpool. The obvious finesse and speed added by BR’s willingness to let Daniel play through the middle has created one of the most feared partnerships in the premier league. The second half of Brendan’s first season was only a starting point for this season surge to the champions league places.
Throughout the team this year there has been a noticeable amount of dynamism which is evidence of the hard work Rodgers and the staff have put in with the players. The players have formed a special bond with the head coach especially Luis Suarez who was having issues on and off the pitch the season before despite his prolific form towards the end of last season. As a result of this special bond Suarez has been more determined then ever to prove his loyalty to all those connected to the club; by his outstanding goal tally which had taken him to 20 at the January. There have been many great performances individually like Suarez at Norwich which was a common theme last year as well, but the team has stepped up and repaid the manger with wins again Spurs, Everton and most recently Arsenal one of the main title contenders.
It is to be seen what else Liverpool can produce this season but under the leadership of Brendan Rodgers us as Liverpool fans and neutral supporters should be very excited about what is just around the corner.