Sunday 21 January 2018

Six things Rodgers must do at Anfield

Brendan Rodgers clearly commands the devotion of his Swansea players: he has taken them up to the Premier League. But gaining the respect of millionaire superstars is rather different. They might wonder what Rodgers has done to earn this role, especially with no playing career behind him. Andre Villas-Boas, another bright young coach who never played, could not win over the Chelsea players. Rodgers must avoid the same fate at Liverpool.

2 teach his style of possession football

It is not always easy to mould players to your style of play. At Reading, Rodgers struggled to adapt a hard-running squad inherited from Steve Coppell and was soon dismissed. At Swansea, Roberto Martinez and Paulo Sousa had already put the system in place. Liverpool have not played good football since Rafael Benitez. Rodgers must undo the failings and teach his own game.

3 win OVER FANS

Roy Hodgson was never popular at Anfield after a series of public mis-steps and poor displays. Rodgers, however, must avoid both and convince the fans he is the man to bring back the successes of the Benitez era. But if he is unpopular, the board might be as swift as they were with Hodgson.

4 deal with the various 2011 recruits

Had Kenny Dalglish bought better, he might still be in the job. Rodgers must either include Jose Enrique, Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson or find willing buyers. Henderson might fit into his new system, but will the rest?

5 Decide how to use Steven Gerrard

Rodgers needs his midfielders to keep the ball: at Swansea he used the precise talents of Joe Allen and Leon Britton. Gerrard is a huge figure at Liverpool, but after three poor years Rodgers must wonder how well-equipped he is for that sort of work now.

6 PROVIDE THE CLUB'S AMERICAN STATS MEN WITH THE RIGHT FIGURES

It has been something of a surreal rise for a coach who has, in the stark reality of the numbers game so favoured by Liverpool's US owners, won only six more games than he has lost as a manager -- he has overseen a total of just 12 Premier League victories and was ushered out the door at Reading less than three years ago.

There are other numbers, though. His Swansea had a better home record than Liverpool last season, and -- here's where stat-obsessed American ears prick up -- his Swansea dispatched some 2,000 more passes than Liverpool over the course of last season.

Irish Independent

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