So the majority of Liverpool supporters are beginning to take on board Brendan Rodgers himself – his footballing philosophies, which have given supporters a mood of optimism. Regurgitated over the last few years, but somehow, someway this feels different.
We will very soon find out as to whether the packaging has indeed changed alongside its substance – Talk is cheap and God we have heard enough of that since Rodgers took the helm in the Kings chair. Although I like the rhetoric there does seem to be a part of me that nags at my conscience with words like “I have heard it all before”.
We started off with Rodgers stating what a difficult job he had, quite rightly dampening the mass hysteria and expectation that comes from within Anfield and from the terraces. Interestingly the last two media friendly press conferences have included talk of Liverpool achieving dominance in the English game once again – akin to the 1970s and 1980s. That old steam train which would derail us through a barren 20 odd years is once again leaving the station before the latest Nike football has been kicked into row Z by Charlie Adam.
This is Liverpool Football Club and of course it would be extremely difficult not to get carried along in a river of red, but drowning in such expectation has become a regular occurrence over these last few years.
The league form under Dalglish was at the best poor, at the worst disastrous – with a side that at times did play some great football, all be it too infrequently and more likely it lacked fire in its belly. However much Rodgers believes he is imparting this new style to our masses must not forget that most of us cannot be taught to suck eggs – with such talk the pressures he is putting on this new Liverpool could quickly become insurmountable – weighing down hopes with the burden of expectation.
The Andy Carroll story – a tale of two halves from last season, has already this term divided and disconnected the fans, many want to see the big man given the opportunity to progress, flourish, and grow inside Anfield. Brendan Rodgers I feel has a very different opinion about Carrolls part, or not, that Carroll has in the revolution. Interesting that the talk has included giving younger players an opportunity to show what they can do – obviously this seems not to apply to Carroll.
The “Beautiful Game” has to have many faces – criticism aimed at clubs like Arsenal, Madrid and even Spain during the European Championships is that such ideology only has one plan – no plan B. The Premiership past winners have always mage to procure an ability to win ugly – Surely a player that offers such a way in a collection of all those particular skill sets is Andy Carroll.
In business terms to take a huge hit on the £35 million which the club paid for Andy Carroll makes little if no sense, sure Brendan Rodgers must be under immense pressure to find funds to recruit the players he believes will enhance the Tiki Taka style of football he prefers – I would prefer to lose Downing for what I assume would be a similar fee.
In a way Brendan Rodgers has a much more difficult conundrum to face than his recent predecessors because when he looks around at assets that may bring in some financial gain the box is empty, he can’t sell Suarez or Gerrard, a breakup of the central defensive pairing would be seen as foolhardy, as would selling Pepe Reina.
Rodgers has spoken on many occasions about the strength of mind to work and to succeed – a winning mentality and mind-set yet we are in the process of recruiting players that have not been under such pressures and have won next to nothing, we have personnel in the shape of Stewart Downing who you would assume does not fit that criteria – I am not myself sure what such an answer should be, fortunately I am not in Rodgers position.
I am not too sure that Liverpool supporters fully appreciate the task that Rodgers has taken on, the very small building blocks that he has to work with – how essential it is that he gets into The Champions League as quickly as possible to ultimately put the plan in action. I have always thought that The Champions League has made any sort of success gained elsewhere within the season a kind of irrelevance, which is very sad – but money talks in this modern game.
Liverpool is a great club, a great institution supported around the globe – an iconic brand, its football team however right now is NOT – there lies the problem, until the supporters accept that this is the case and we need to build, with Brendan Rodgers given the correct amount of time to attempt the job.
When we look at this season, it may actually have to be written off in terms of Champions League, which may well be what supporters have to accept, what Kenny Dalglish called a “realism check” as painful as it might be.
I have liked Rodgers and what he has had to say, however I am waiting to see the proof in the pudding, an evidence that we are working toward a goal, and of course that technically we have improved – this is what has been promised, along with the strong-minded individuals who remain fearless in possession of a football – something I find hard to accept with some of our players, but time will tell – whether it remains Pass & Move or purely – Move On.
Will Brendan Rogers be given the full support of The Kop? This will be determined by the exacting of such of plan, the systems and tactics and the squad of players he assembles, the one thing we will not accept is mediocrity which we have seen matches sprinkled with over the last few seasons. If he does nothing more than instil in the minds and hearts of players what that shirt means, not only to the supporters but what it should mean to the players themselves – then the supporters will be won over.
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