Rodgers plotting Reds revival
Liverpool have taken a leap of faith in Brendan Rodgers and a solid start might be needed for him to succeed where Roy Hodgson and Kenny Dalglish both failed...
Fenway Sports Group took over Liverpool with a plan, but nobody else seems quite sure what that plan is yet. Brendan Rodgers becomes the fourth different manager in four seasons, and the third under John Henry's stewardship, although some would argue the young Ulsterman is the first appointment on which the new owners should be judged. Fans have little to be overly concerned about but the team's failure to establish a clear identity is the cause of growing frustration. That's the key cultural element that needs to be addressed this term.
Rodgers creeps into the category of proven Premier League manager after an impressive debut season with Swansea but the Liverpool job requires someone with higher credentials and his appointment represents a leap of faith. That's not to discredit his obvious potential, the 39-year-old is a product of the Jose Mourinho stable and Chelsea insiders have long promoted his strategic qualities. However, three years ago, he lasted only half-a-season at Reading. It's to be hoped the experience taught him a thing or two about the settling-in process.
Liverpool fans long to see the return of certain traditions but their prolonged absence from the Champions League, combined with continued uncertainty about the quality of some expensive acquistions, serves only to feed lingering apprehension. The Rodgers appointment is another fresh start and one of his priorities will be to address the club's worst home record in over half a century. It just so happens that Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United are the first three visitors to Anfield. But that might be a blessing rather than a curse.
The term Moneyball is never far from any analysis of Liverpool's transfer dealings, which owes much to Fenway's past success with the Boston Red Sox, but there's nothing particularly shrewd about paying inflated transfer fees for promising talents who offer no guarantees. Liverpool might eventually hit the jackpot by investing in raw potential but most of the new arrivals have so far lacked the strength of character to cope with the history of the club and compete to a level that we have come to expect.
Fabio Borini (Roma).
Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbahce), Maxi Rodriguez (Newell's Old Boys), Fabio Aurelio (Gremio), Toni Silva (Barnsley), David Amoo (Preston), Stephen Darby (Preston), Connor Wearing (Shrewsbury), Joseph Rafferty (Rochdale), Lewis Hatch (Accrington).
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