Brendan Rodgers Wants 'Top Players' at Liverpool but Spending Spree Unnecessary

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistMarch 19, 2014

Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers smiles as he takes to the touchline before his team's English Premier League soccer match against Swansea City at Anfield Stadium, Liverpool, England, Sunday Feb. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Brendan Rodgers believes Liverpool don't have to spend mega amounts of money to compete with the Premier League's financial juggernauts, and he suggests "there is more to" success than utilising cash.

The Reds are expected to strengthen their squad during the summer, but Rodgers knows his budget will amount to a smidgen of the sums deployed by clubs such as Manchester City and Chelsea.

Even so, the Northern Irishman is more than confident any team will be successful if they understand their manager's philosophy, reported by David Maddock of the Mirror:

Clubs spend a billion quid and it does not guarantee anything. We will be in the market for good and top players, but there is more to it than that.

Once you put your ideas in place and once the players start to crack it, then we will have success. Money can't buy that.

Jon Super/Associated Press

Liverpool are currently second in the Premier League after spending nearly £46.7 million on eight players during the summer, per the The GuardianArsenal racked up £42 million on Mesut Ozil (spending £44.9 on three players in total), City dropped £102.1 million on five players and Chelsea landed eight stars for £68.5 million. Manchester United, the team Liverpool have replaced inside the top four, spent £30.1 million on two players.

Despite his best efforts to sign Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka, as reported by Richard Jolly of ESPN FC, Rodgers failed to spend in January. When you consider Chelsea parted with a further £44 million in the winter, per Squawka, and United signed Juan Mata for £37 million, Liverpool's success is put into perspective.

Currently second and four points behind Chelsea with a game in hand, Rodgers' side have continued to impress throughout the season. The former Swansea manager has put together a cohesive attacking unit, one that battles through the midfield and has enough power at the back to overcome most challengers.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool competes with Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Rodgers has signed numerous quality players over the last two seasons, rather than risking all of his money on a massive buy. Individuals such as Daniel Sturridge, Philippe Coutinho and Mamadou Sakho have become key figures without breaking the bank in the same way many world-class stars can.

As we've seen with United's £27 million acquisition of Marouane Fellaini, mobilising a large fee doesn't always guarantee success. Instead, Rodgers has shown real confidence in his own ability to manage players toward their potential, something Sturridge also sums up with his 18 goals and six assists in 21 appearances this season, per

The Liverpool manager acknowledges this kind of development in Maddock's report, highlighting the importance of relationships at Anfield:

It is about coaching and man-management and dealing with people. Having a great staff. Finding a cause for the players to fight for. All of that comes into it and that is something we have done in the period I have been here.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 16:  Raheem Sterling of Liverpool competes with Michael Carrick of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (P
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Liverpool have arguably been the most impressive Premier League side this season. No other side have appeared as consistently in sync with the manager's style and ideas, but vitally, the Reds have shown themselves to be extremely adaptable under Rodgers.

The recent 3-0 bashing of United confirmed this. Raheem Sterling's move toward the middle was tailored to United's weaknesses—allowing the young winger to target David Moyes' slow centre-backs with his pace—providing Liverpool with a major advantage when moving into the opposition's half.

While Moyes took 76 minutes to change his struggling side, Rodgers remained in control at all times, as highlighted by Joe Krishnan of The Independent:

Rodgers also started with Joe Allen instead of Sterling during the previous match at Southampton, tightening up the team's midfield against a side that floods the middle. The manager's attention to detail ensures Liverpool remain competitive without needing to jeopardise finances with a handful of major signings.

Vitally, the players believe in their boss. Rodgers' meticulous planning makes him an attractive leader to work under and that will surely pay dividends during the summer.  

Unlike Moyes, someone who has great funds to spend but little grasp of his team, Rodgers' personal touch and tactical astuteness may see Liverpool land top talent at a much easier rate.