A mostly unknown—and very much unproven commodity—the announcement of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool FC’s 19th full-time manager was met with equal parts contempt and curiosity.
How was it that a man whose appointment elicited praise from Jose Mourinho (via Liverpool Echo), escaped closer scrutiny by bigger clubs? And how had he suddenly stepped into some of the biggest shoes in world football based on one successful year in the top flight?
With so little known about Rodgers in a high-profile position, he was always destined to be betwixt and between during his first year in charge. The stepchild of “I told you so’s,” winning would give breadth to his admirers, while losses offered depth to the detractors.
And because of this intense examination, Rodgers’ every action, substitution, starting lineup, transfer, press conference and off-handed remark provided the sometimes imprecise tools for his inevitable vivisection as well as the needles gauging success or failure.
Following Kenny Dalglish to the throne, the Ulsterman’s greatest blessing and curse were always to be uttered in the same breath—he is never going to be "the King."
Incapable of replacing a legend, he will have to fashion his own. As the manager that brought the first Welsh team into the English Premier League, it is something he has already begun.
It is perhaps unfair to measure Rodgers against the loaded scales of previous managers. Some 60 years on, this is not the Liverpool Bill Shankly built. It is a different Liverpool in a different epoch undergoing a very painful transition. Yet those ex-headmen will forge the framework and set his bar for his accomplishments.
So how does Buck Rodgers stack up in his first season at the helm compared to some of his predecessors?
Here is a look at how he has fared in the hot seat at Liverpool FC against the backdrop of the Reds' other bosses.