Of course many people were cautious as to whether he would be up to the job, being a small time manager at the helm of one of the biggest football clubs in the world. He has only had a few months in the job, so it would be very harsh to already be calling for his head. However, analysing the players he has brought in and let go amongst his tactical acumen in the matches that have proceeded the season thus far, can help shape the season Liverpool will be in for.
Rodgers certainly has a very cool head on his shoulders and this is evident in the way he talks to press and expresses his demeanour. Very nuanced in his answers, he is as accommodating as he is principled – much like his expression of how football should be played. The modern manager indeed, but he was hamstrung in a variety of ways from the moment he came to the club.
The owners made it very clear he would not be armed with the war-chest that Kenny Dalglish had so haplessly squandered last season. Also, the fixture list handed to Liverpool could hardly have been more unkind with opening fixtures that forced Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all to have earlier than expected trips to Anfield.
Not to mention, the time it would take Liverpool to naturally adopt this style of possession based football, which in its purity, rarely sees the ball being hoofed up front at all. Adding to this myriad of problems, is the need to force the players to display one of the most technically difficult styles in football.
So Rodgers was first tasked with getting rid of dead wood, which he managed to do to a large degree. Jay Spearing was loaned out to Bolton, though it’s safe to say he perhaps won’t have a future at his beloved club. Charlie Adams was sold off, Jordan Henderson was mooted to be involved in a swap deal for Clint Dempsey until the deal went south and Andy Carroll was loaned out to West Ham with a view to a permanent deal, despite having no replacement lined up.
This was, of course, without Brendan’s knowledge, who stated he would never have sanctioned the deal without a replacement lined up. But the fact is, Fenway Sports Group have been shook by the exorbitant amount they paid for average players last season and refuse to be held to ransom. They have, however, forked out £11m on Fabio Borini (a player in the mould of Dirk Kuyt, though he hardly impressed yet by any stretch of the imagination) and £15m for Joe Allen who looks half decent but represents an inflated price.