We’re here to think about football the way that Brendan Rodgers thinks about football. That means loving the ball, caressing it and keeping hold of it for as long as possible. I’ve got the names of three of you who’ll let us down by not reading this all the way through in three envelopes in front of me right now, so listen up. Do it for Lucas, okay?
The key element of this project is to discuss the journey that Rodgers is taking Liverpool on.
It is a journey that some players were never destined to take.
The likes of Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll and Jay Spearing weren’t prepared for the journey, they don’t know how to achieve “death by football.” According to Rodgers “when [Liverpool] have the football, everybody’s a player.” Except them. They’re Stoke, West Ham and Bolton players now.
Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique could also be someone else’s players now, but Rodgers trained them―no, you train dogs, he educates players―and turned around their Anfield careers.
Henderson is now showing terrific promise and starred in the win at Aston Villa on Sunday. Downing is a regular in the team again and Enrique has overcome the dip in form he experienced in the latter half of last season and is playing the most consistent football he’s ever played for Liverpool.
Luis Suarez―that “real warrior of spirit”―has reached quite staggering levels of brilliance for the Reds this season, and much of that can be put down to the style that Rodgers has imposed on the team.
The manager’s commitment to keeping the ball and keeping everyone involved―in his words, “we play with 11 men, other teams play with 10 men and a goalkeeper”―has seen the whole team play their part, but Suarez is clearly the key component and paramount to everything Liverpool does.
Steven Gerrard―”a remarkable, inspirational man,” says Rodgers―is important too of course, but it is also Rodgers’ relentless positivity and attempts to inspire which are never too far away from coming into the foreground. “I’ve always said that you can live without water for many days, but you can’t live for a second without hope,” is another one of his mantras. It is one that he seemingly believes in to the letter.
“I will leave no stone unturned in my quest—and that quest will be relentless,” might be a line perhaps better suited to one of the characters in Lord of the Rings, but it is something that Rodgers outlined upon his appointment at Liverpool, and as long as he is true to his word, then the Reds are only going to see the benefits.
Even though results haven’t been as consistent or as pleasing as many would have wished this season, viewing this campaign as a starting point to get to somewhere better, it makes for a decent opening.
It is easy to mock Rodgers for his ways―as we have done here in a tongue-in-cheek manner―but he clearly believes in them.
The key now is to get everyone else onside, because apparently “the problem with being a manager is it’s like trying to build an aircraft while it is flying.”
Rodgers will continue to go about that in his own special manner.