BRENDAN RODGERS today revealed his pride at being appointed manager of Liverpool.
The 39-year-old left Swansea for Anfield after a compensation package was agreed between the two clubs.
“I'm very proud, it's a club with wonderful tradition and I feel very blessed with the opportunity to manage the club,” Rodgers said at his unveiling this morning.
Rodgers admitted his mind was made up to move to Merseyside once it became clear he was the club's preferred target.
“Once I had found out I was the number one target from the important people at Liverpool it was quite an easy decision,” he said.
Liverpool is a step up for Rodgers from his previous jobs at Watford, Reading and Swansea.
He also worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea and insisted claims he was too inexperienced for the role were unfair.
“My pathway as a young coach has been different to most managers,” he said.
“I have actually been coaching and working in football for 20 years. At Chelsea I had experience of working with big players.
“I look at Kenny Dalglish, he was the manager (of Liverpool in 1985) at 34 and resigned at 39. I arrive here at 39.”
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner claimed Rodgers would bring “attacking, relentless football” to the club.
“In Brendan we have acquired a very exciting and talented and young manager,” the American said.
“He's a forward-thinking coach at the forefront of a generation of young managers and will bring to Liverpool attacking, relentless football.”
Werner added: “We did speak to a number of people in the last few weeks, but I want to say Brendan was the only person we made an offer to. He was our first choice and the right choice.”
Rodgers is confident he will get time to introduce his methods at Anfield.
“This is long-term, that was important to me, to come into a project over a number of years,” he said.
“For me (the attraction), is to defend the principles of this great club, offensive football with tactical discipline, and to retain the values of the club.
“That was the attraction, the history of the club.
“Also the frustration. It has been over 20 years since they won the title. We might not be ready for the title but the process begins today, it's a new cycle, and that is something that we will work towards in the years to come.”
Liverpool's search for a new manager has been criticised in some quarters, but managing director Ian Ayre was satisfied with how the club dealt with filling the vacancy.
He said: “There was a process and it was right to have a process. Brendan was at the forefront of that thinking, evidenced by the fact we asked Swansea very early on.
“He was the only person we made an offer to. We got the person we wanted.”
Ayre also explained there would be a new set-up on the football side.
He said: “The structure, and Brendan is aware of this, is a more continental director of football type structure, a collaborative group of people working around the football area.
“We don't expect at this moment in time to have a director of football per se but a group of people working with Brendan to deliver the football side of it.”
Regarding winning over any doubting Liverpool fans following his appointment, Rodgers said: “All I'll ever do is what I've done in every job, which is promise that I'll fight for my life for the supporters and for the people of the city.
“For me, I'll always give my life to try to represent the football club and city as best as I possible can and hopefully over time I'll earn that respect.
“I can't wait to get started and get to work.”