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Rodgers oversees his team in training; the manager will be pleased that the things learned have been demonstrated out on the pitch.
The hardest thing for a manager to do is not to get the players on side, but to get them thinking in the same way.
While Liverpool have only jumped one place on last year’s finish—eighth to seventh—and won only two more games, they turned 14 losses for 2011-12 into nine for this season. While there is still work to be done, this is no doubt a step in the right direction and also a show of better solidarity.
What became apparent as the season drew on was that something had clicked in the team. Players suddenly knew where each other were, which led to the passing becoming slicker and more accurate, which in turn spelled more scoring chances.
It’s hard to pinpoint when exactly things fell into place, but it seems to be around the time when Liverpool thrashed Norwich 5-0. That there were five different scorers on the day speaks volumes about the team effort, and after that Liverpool lost only two of their next 15 matches, as opposed to four defeats in their previous 10.
With the defensive solidity came growing confidence, and they racked some impressive scorelines in the final months, including a 4-0, 5-0 and 6-0 over Wigan, Swansea and Newcastle respectively.
The possibility of losing key player Luis Suarez, as reported by the Mirror, could damage this confidence, but it remains to be seen whether or not the Uruguayan magician will stay, and at least the spark has been reignited.