6 Reasons Why Brendan Rodgers Deserves New Liverpool Deal
Rodgers has "agreed in principle [to] a new contract with Liverpool's owner, Fenway Sports Group, that is expected to tie him to Anfield until 2018" writes The Guardian's Andy Hunter.
The Northern Irishman joined the Reds two years ago, signing a three-year contract upon his appointment.
Reports suggest the new contract has been agreed upon and will be signed shortly after the final game of the season, at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.
The fact that Rodgers has taken Liverpool from eighth place upon his arrival to a guaranteed top-three finish in just his second season is clearly the main reason to reward the manager with a new deal.
Here are six more reasons why Rodgers deserves his new deal at Liverpool.
Style of Play
Having scored just 47 Premier League goals in the season prior to his appointment, Brendan Rodgers' side has more than doubled that tally this season, needing just one more for 100 goals. Quite incredible.
Admittedly, no side has ever scored more than 90 goals and not won the Premier League, and with Manchester City also over that tally, one side will be the first.
Regardless of Liverpool's issues in defence, Rodgers has made Liverpool the most entertaining side in England, possibly Europe. When in full flow, they are a joy to watch.
The 5-1 demolition of Arsenal, 4-0 hammering of Everton, 3-0 humiliation of Manchester United and 5-0 and 4-0 thrashings over Tottenham will all live long in the memory, no matter how this season ends.
Rodgers has got the best out of his attacking talents, opting to pair Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge together and, in doing so, creating a 52-goal strike partnership this season.
Understands the Liverpool Way
When Brendan Rodgers speaks, whether it be at a pre-match press conference, a post-match interview or any other form of media duty, he does so in a manner that appeals to the club's supporters.
He does not seek to lower expectations, and he does not engage in childish mind games. He simply speaks with assurance, confidence and belief in his and his team's methods.
He instills confidence in his players and the supporters.
Roy Hodgson failed miserably to understand "The Liverpool Way"; instead, he criticised fans for protesting against the ownership of Tom Hicks and George Gillett, admitted he wasn't sure on the best position of £11.5 million signing Raul Meireles, compared Liverpool to Fulham and proclaimed a 1-0 win at Bolton as a "famous victory" (all via This Is Anfield).
Rodgers is the complete antithesis to Hodgson and represents a modern manager who completely understands the values, history and traditions of the club which he is managing.
In the words of Steven Gerrard, Rodgers has been a "breath of fresh air" for the football club.
Giving Youth a Chance
It's not just the fact that Rodgers has handed first-team debuts to nine players from the club's academy in his first two seasons at Liverpool, but he's also invested in players for the future and given players opportunities to flourish.
Not many managers would have had the confidence to play Raheem Sterling, a 19-year-old winger, as a playmaker in a midfield diamond at Old Trafford. Rodgers did, and since then, Sterling has impressed even more in a central role.
Jon Flanagan's re-emergence has been nothing short of remarkable while a host of other academy players have been involved in matchday squads to get a taste for the first team. Jordan Rossiter, Cameron Brannagan, Danny Ward, Lloyd Jones and Jack Dunn have all been part of the squad or unused substitutes under Rodgers.
Liverpool's squad is full of players who are yet to reach their full potential, but with Rodgers in charge, they will certainly get the opportunities to do so.
"I have been absolutely blown away by his sessions, his tactics and his maturity in the job and I am learning off him every single day," praised Steven Gerrard of Rodgers recently in an interview with the Liverpool Echo.
"His man to man, one on one management is the best I have known," continued Gerrard. "From week to week he is helping us improve and get better."
Rodgers has improved players at Liverpool.
Gerrard, Martin Skrtel, Jon Flanagan, Raheem Sterling, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and Jordan Henderson are all performing at higher levels than a year ago, or when Rodgers was appointed. He has improved them in his coaching, his positive psychology and man management.
Dealing with Tricky Situations
Three names and three situations demonstrate the strength of Rodgers' character: Andy Carroll, Pepe Reina and Luis Suarez.
Rodgers didn't shirk any of the tricky decisions; he stuck by his beliefs and acted in an honourable manner.
Carroll was allowed to leave—all part of the long-term process—Reina was loaned out following Simon Mignolet's arrival, and Suarez was dealt with in a manner that showed who was in charge at Liverpool.
There can be no room for sentiment in football. Clubs and squads must evolve, and Rodgers has shown that he is willing to do whatever is in the best interests of the football club.
Ahead of Schedule
Speaking after Monday night's drama at Selhurst Park, Rodgers explained how Liverpool are "actually ahead of schedule," as per The Guardian:
We've made great strides and, while I'm here, I'm fighting to win titles. I'll be relentless in my quest for that. That's why I came. I've seen a lot this season that has given us great hope going forward. We're building something sustainable. We haven't thrown a bucket-load of money at it. We're trying to build. We'll keep working and we'll try and make more strides forward next season.
This is something Rodgers has mentioned several times this season, alluding to a vision that he and FSG had to achieve Champions League qualification in his third season at Anfield. Instead, this has been achieved in just his second campaign.
A net spend figure of just over £50 million (using figures from LFCHistory.net) makes the achievement all the more admirable and backs up Rodgers' claim that Liverpool haven't thrown a bucketload of money at it. They are indeed building and becoming sustainable as a football club.
As the fans rightly sing at Anfield now, "Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool, we're on our way to glory."