Liverpool: 3 Things Brendan Rodgers Has Done to Bring Early Success
The Ulsterman has grasped the job opportunity with both hands, pouring his heart and soul into the work, and is close to reaping some very real rewards.
As this Reds team continues to improve, we look back at three things Rodgers has gotten right so far.
Win the Crowd, Win Your Freedom
Despite it being an obvious and deplorable Gladiator reference, "win the crowd, win your freedom" works pretty well in most cases for English Premier League managers.
With the obvious exception of Roberto Di Matteo, most head coaches can buy time in a job by appeasing the fans who pay their wages.
This is certainly the case with Brendan Rodgers, as he's conjured the same respect at Anfield as he earned from the Swansea faithful.
Liverpool fans know his footballing template takes time to implement. They also know he needs new players to fulfill certain roles and remains burdened with the errors previous managers have made in the transfer market.
There is no climate for animosity in the ranks of the fans like there was under Kenny Dalglish—for someone like Rodgers, this can only be deemed a success.
The Suarez Streak
The key to any team is their star player, and Luis Suarez is one of the best players in world football.
There have been several questions surrounding his ability to step up and score the 20 goals that Liverpool so desperately need from him, but current evidence suggests that he's ready to take on that responsibility.
He's already struck 10 times this season, placing him top of the pile across all of the English Premier League's hit men, outscoring Dimitar Berbatov, Robin van Persie, Demba Ba and Carlos Tevez among others.
He's just one goal from equaling last season's tally of 11 and looks on course for a 30-goal season, never mind the fabled 20 figure.
You look at the confidence he exudes and wonder why anyone ever doubted him.
Flexibility and Faith
Fans get fed up when a manager remains stubborn despite his methods not working.
Kenny Dalglish made consistent errors as manager and pursued with some questionable strategies; the most prominent of which was sticking with the highly inept Charlie Adam week in, week out.
Brendan Rodgers has been the polar opposite so far, showing willingness to change despite his faith in the 4-3-3 and a penchant for testing the youth products coming out of Melwood.
Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom, Suso, Martin Kelly and Oussama Assaidi have all found playing time—be it in the English Premier League or the UEFA Europa League—and they have grown rapidly as a result.
You just get the impression every person in the club respects their manager, which can only be a good thing.