The title of this article represents the major factor in paving the way for Brendan Rodgers to enjoy a successful tenure at Liverpool Football Club.
If this new-age manager is accepted by the players, the Kop, and the fans, then he will have the base on which to etch his very distinctive blueprint on the team and which will eventual propel the Reds to play hi-pressure entertaining football which will successively lead to success!
I am in a very positive mood. I had written an article some weeks ago which I had titled ‘Cracking the Whip’, and my word have FSG cracked the whip! At the time the American owners had shown the door to Comolli, Bruckner and Cotton. Dalglish was this hanging on, albeit by a thread! Since then even King Kenny was asked to leave, which will lead to Steve Clarke and Kevin Keen, plus a number of other backroom staff, also looking for pastures new.
Back to acceptance! While Pepe Reina had hoped for Rafa to come back (apparently), Steven Gerrard and Bellars have already pitched in to offer full support for Rodgers. I firmly believe that although the ego of these top stars is always difficult to deal with, there is also a general understanding between the players that they will need to do more! They know that if they play the ‘Rodgers Way’ with their undoubted quality and higher average standard than Swansea, it would translate into an awesome footballing spectacle!
The Kop and Anfield in general made life for Roy Hodgson unbearable! The aura of Kenny Dalglish was too overwhelming to withstand, even for a man of experience like Hodgson! The fans made it clear they wanted him out and Kenny in. Notwithstanding the many attestations of affection post-departure, many performances during Hodgson’s brief reign spoke of ‘we don’t want you to manage us’. This is an attitude that we cannot afford to greet Brendan Rodgers with. The players need to put aside their huge egos, and the fans need to give him time! This is a ‘from scratch’ project! This is a completely different way of playing football!
The topic now is not why the choice fell on Rodgers, it is how will we shape the team and the players to make sure the Reds play the same intense game the Welsh outfit played to rave reviews last season! The task ahead is to recruit the players that suit that style, and to ship out players that don’t! The game Swansea played was based on stamina, continuous movement, and every player playing for each other not for himself! The massive overhaul I expect is not with players coming and going, but in the way the players train at Melwood, the way the game is prepared and the attitude with which the players hit the turf game in game out!
Welcome Brendan and good luck!