Liverpool FC : 5 Things Brendan Rodgers Must Do to Win over Doubting Reds Fans
With the beginning of the new English Premier League season but a few days away now, all the eyes of Liverpool fans worldwide will be focused on Brendan Rodgers and his new-look Liverpool side.
The opening match of the season sees the Reds on the road to The Hawthorns where WBA will host them with Steve Clarke, former Liverpool number two to Kenny Dalglish, as their new manager.
Liverpool fans will be looking for a positive start to the new campaign and a whole lot more from Rodgers' new-look line up.
In a story that was run by ESPN Soccernet, Rodgers himself believes that he still has to win over a majority of the Liverpool fans and that some are yet to be convinced about his appointment.
The footballing philosophy that the Northern Irishman has brought into Anfield, on paper and in theory, is inventive, progressive and should result in Liverpool performing with their 'pass and move' footballing ethos, more than in recent times.
But that is all talk, hopes and expectations. However, truth be told, Liverpool's preseason games have shown that there is substance behind Rodgers' ideas, that these ideas are being absorbed by the squad, and that a more fluid style has been adopted.
Pressuring the opposition high up the pitch with constant movement of the players and ball are the fundamentals.
However, there are a few other things that Rodgers needs to achieve before he will be fully accepted by all Liverpool fans.
1. Add More Quality Signings to the Current Squad
The arrival of Brendan Rodgers to Liverpool has not been followed with a mass clear out of the squad that he inherited nor with a glut of new expensive signings.
Presently with around two weeks left in this current transfer window, Rodgers has only bought in two new faces to the Liverpool squad: Joe Allen and Fabio Borini, both of whom he worked with extensively in the past.
Liverpool fans are not expecting players being bought for the sake of it. But with money seemingly available, they would like to see Rodgers bring in a few more quality signings that would signal that the Reds are looking to be a force to be reckoned with once again.
Of the host of exciting players that could grace the turf at Anfield, possibly Fulham's Clint Dempsey and Real Madrid's Nuri Sahin could be on the way. With the reports of Gaston Ramirez joining his Uruguayan international teammates at Liverpool not completing dying off.
Without doubt, if Rodgers made a few more quality additions to his squad before the closure of this transfer window, fans would be licking their lips in anticipation and Rodgers would quickly go further ahead in his attempts at becoming accepted by the Liverpool faithful.
2. Attacking Style of Play
The old days of the all standing Kop swaying back and forth to the chants of "Attack, Attack Attack!" are a wonderful throw back to the glory days of Liverpool Football Club.
And that ethos of the style of their play is set to be re-ignited under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers.
Attacking football is the basis of Rodgers' football philosophy, with speedy wingers, quick movement of the ball and attacking flair.
The end product of all this is expected to be more goals, any less than last season would be a tragedy. Far more are what is demanded.
All the signs are good that Rodgers will adopt this progressive attacking style. But signs and actually doing the business are two different things.
If Rodgers, as is expected this seasons, puts his teams out on the pitch to play creative, attacking football matches, then the fans will pull him closer to their hearts.
3. Good Tactical Awareness
Too many times last season fans were left wondering what was going through former manager Kenny Dalglish's mind tactically; he used strange tactical formations, played players in wrong positions, used players who, quite honestly, did not even deserve to be on the bench, and left other players who were more deserving on the bench.
Furthermore, there were the times when fans were left scratching their heads at the substitutions Dalglish decided to make.
What fans long to see from new man Brendan Rodgers is a level of tactical awareness expected of a coach at Liverpool Football Club.
With the Northern Irishman's long experience in coaching, he should be able to set up his teams with the intent to play the kind of football he endorses and that fans want to see.
Tactical switches during the game can sometimes be the key in tight games. Sensible and intelligent substitutions of players is vital to success.
The Kop knows its football; they want to see if Rodgers does too.
4. Commitment to His Ideas
Brendan Rodgers has a philosophy of how he likes his teams to play their football.
In effect, it is the 'Liverpool way' of 'pass and move', only re-engineered for the demands of contemporary football.
In principle, the system works in the English Premier League, as was proven by Swansea City last season.
They finished in a very respectable position in the table, one that a newly promoted team would not really be expected to end at.
In theory, with the higher class of players available to him at Liverpool, and with the addition of further quality players, two from Swansea itself, the system should work with even greater efficiency and be even more effective on Merseyside.
The one thing that Rodgers must do is to stick to it. Come the middle of the season and results are not going his way, the last thing fans want to see is an abandonment of the new ideas and a return old ones.
Not that this is ever likely to happen, but having said that, fans want to see a path chosen by Rodgers and a long-term commitment to making it successful.
5. Fortress Anfield
Winning performances at Anfield are a huge factor to the Reds having a successful Premier League campaign.
In past successful and title winning seasons, Anfield was a fortress and opposing teams would be lucky if they came away with anything.
Over the course of time, and particularly last season, many teams picked the locks of Anfield and escaped with points that they deserved and many more that they did not.
Brendan Rodgers has got to return Anfield to the days where teams feared playing there, and Liverpool were expected to win their home games.
His home debut began with a convincing win, albeit against lowly opposition, but Rodgers will take heart that his dream of making Anfield an intimidating place for opposing sides to visit has already begun.
If Rodgers wants to become a Kop hero, then he has to make sure that he wins matches witnessed by the home crowd. That, above all else, will endear him to them.