One can draw parallels between the excitement and buzz that surrounded Brendan Rodgers’ appointment as Liverpool manager to that of the man he replaced, Kenny Dalglish.
Kenny arrived on the scene with overwhelming fan approval.
The supporters trusted their “King” to return the glory days to a club troubled by transitional problems ever since the inception of the Premier League.
Rodgers’ appointment created buzz in the media.
Brendan Rodgers didn’t arrive with much fanfare. He was neither an accomplished head coach at a leading club nor a former club legend whom the fans could trust to reclaim their lost glory.
That’s not to say that expectations are down among supporters, thanks to the brilliant PR work of the club.
FSG and the Liverpool board have left no stone unturned in endearing their newly appointed manager to the supporters and have done so successfully.
The general opinion about Brendan is one of a confident and ambitious young manager whose hunger for success and respect toward the club is likeable.
Besides that, glowing comments made by players, peers and highly placed board members has lifted the pressure off of Brendan’s shoulders for the moment.
Another major difference—and probably, the most important—between Dalglish and Rodgers has been their approach toward the transfer window season.
Dalglish—quite literally—entered the market all guns blazing, splashing the cash in order to acquire highly rated British players.
Dalglish’s actions resulted in Liverpool landing Andy Carroll, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson for a premium price.
Rodgers has been quiet on the transfer front so far. Whether one prefers to attribute it to his tactical approach or a clear lack of funds due to Kenny’s overspending expedition the previous season, one thing is for sure:
Rodgers is definitely playing it safe.
And he is quite adept at giving mixed signals about a player’s future for fear of backlash from the supporters’ community.
Let me supplement my claims.
The Liverpool management had clearly not wanted to pay such high wages for a man who was going to be a peripheral option or a substitute at best.
Quite literally, the club had wanted to get rid of Cole as soon as possible to wipe off a significantly large sum off of the wage budget.
When Rodgers came in, he did his best to make it clear that Cole had a role to play. However, how much of that was in regard to Liverpool’s Barclays Premier League campaign couldn’t be determined.
So, now the board has no issues in keeping a man who still commands a very high wage despite not being a first team regular purely for the sake of retaining a larger squad to help with the club’s Europa League campaign.
Another player of note is Alberto Aquilani.
A player who spent the previous two seasons on loan to different Serie A clubs and who commands a significantly higher wage on par with Joe Cole has also been included in the preseason tour of North America, like Cole himself.
Aquilani was a player brought to the club by Rafa Benitez in 2009, but injuries meant that he had a slow start to his Anfield career. Both Hodgson and Dalglish, however, decided that the player was too fragile to fit into the demanding and intense English league and hence farmed him out on loan deals.
Aquilani—known for his technical prowess—had his own set of supporters among the Anfield faithful, many of whom wanted the crafty Italian to be given a chance to prove himself.
It proved to be in vain.
Ultimately, Dalglish’s decision did backfire on him, as he was left searching for a quality player to fill in for Steven Gerrard’s absence as Liverpool struggled to an eighth-place finish during a season also mired with controversies.
Rodgers, meanwhile, has preferred to retain him while not being clear over the player’s future.
The same goes for the confusion surrounding Andy Carroll’s Anfield future.
Fabio Borini has been the only addition to his squad so far, while the media continues to circulate reports over possible deals for Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Swansea’s Joe Allen.
If the Allen deal goes ahead, then what is to make of the future of Jordan Henderson? Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing too have it all unclear, and both of them were big-money arrivals under the Kenny Dalglish regime.
I’ll tell you why their futures are uncertain—because it’s still mixed signals everywhere.
Tour diary videos aren’t an answer, and until Brendan makes his mind up and comes clean on the individual’s future, supporters will have their fingers crossed and reserve their judgement on him.
Brendan Rodgers is definitely trying hard to impress upon the Anfield faithful and return the club to its winning ways as early as possible.
But in trying to do that, he has resorted to doing what every other manager does—spending fortunes on a new bunch of players when it would be so much easier to work with the talented bunch that is already at disposal.
Also read: Swansea reject Liverpool's Joe Allen bid