Brendan Rodgers holds the hopes and dreams of every Liverpool supporter in his hands this forthcoming season.
Liverpool football club have not been given the easiest start to a season ever but if we are to prove ourselves as serious contenders for one of the top four slots, then it matters not when or where we play the big clubs or how early or late in the season this happens.
Rodgers has come into the job at a monumental time in its history, Kenny Dalglish has just parted company with the club, a new kit sponsorship deal that is one of the biggest in footballing history, and owners intent on bringing the good old days back to the club while still making no excuses for the fact that LFC is still a business to them.
He had what must be considered a fantastic season with Swansea, but with that in mind haven’t we been here before? I recall a certain Mr Hodgson having a great one off season with Fulham and then by jingo he was offered the Liverpool job, and we are all very aware of how that great idea ended up.
What Rodgers brings to the table is his belief in the pass and move game, not the long ball predictable yawn that has crept into our play for the last couple of years and especially when Andy Carroll is on the field, although not Andy’s fault it made Liverpool easy to defend against and even more easier to frustrate.
I have never seen Liverpool play so negatively and easy to read at Anfield than I have over the matches last season. Yes we hit the post, bar and came up against keepers who had the game of their lives, and yes we dominated virtually every game but when Plan A didn’t work our plan B was just to thump the ball long and hope for the best.
Rodgers eliminates that problem, his style of play is so different to what we have had to endure for a couple of years. I am in no way blaming Dalglish for the performances at Anfield or away last season as he can only work with what he had but nevertheless we can question some of the players that arrived.
The biggest disappointment for me is Downing, I wasn’t exactly shouting from the roof tops when he arrived let alone when I saw him play for us, if there is to be casualties this transfer window then Downing must be on the list.
Then we come to Adam, for me he is a squad player at most, yes he can pass and yes he can show passion but his lack of pace is his downfall but under Rodgers and his style of play Adam could really benefit from this new method of play.
Jordan Henderson is a young lad who can possibly benefit the most from the appointment of Rodgers, what Henderson has going for him is youth and willingness to develop, and under Brendan Rodgers he could become a fantastic young player, Jordan has been playing in a position that is alien to him for the best part of last season and deserves a shot a playing in the central midfield role under Rodgers.
Now we come to Andy Carroll a man who in his defence was happy at Newcastle and most importantly never asked to leave Newcastle or determined the fee that was paid for his services.
Carroll is a another young lad who has the potential to become a world class player given the right coaching and style of play adapted towards his abilities, but this is the stumbling block, Brendan Rodgers style is not formulated with a player like Carroll in mind. Carroll needs constant service that plays on his strengths and unfortunately Carroll is not the quickest man on the field, although it would be a utter shame if he was loaned out instead of finding some form of role for Carroll as he is strong and creates chaos in the oppositions defence.
Carroll could be part of any plan Rodgers may have, if used correctly with two quality wide players instead of the long ball route which makes Carroll ineffective completely.
So now what about Cole and Aquilani, well Cole could possibly be decent under Rodgers if given confidence and a run in the squad but Aquilani is a total loss and needs to be sold even released from his contract, he has not given the club anything in terms of productiveness even when he has been in the squad and he himself does not wish to be at Liverpool, so personally I would just get rid.
What is more important is what type of players Rodgers and Liverpool can attract given whatever resources and pull Brendan can muster, with Borini secured and names such as Allen, Dempsey and Sturridge circulating the rounds of Anfield’s rumour office corridors, it shows a concern that although they are all good players, it is not the players we would expect to be attracted to our club or our club to be attracted to them, we would all love the van Persie’s and Iniesta’s of the footballing world to come to Liverpool but without Champions League football and the finance it will never happen.
So what type of players should we expect Liverpool will attract? Well in simple terms exactly who we are linked with, we are not a top four team any more neither can we demand top flight players, simply because we are not the feared premiership or european giants we was, the Europa League has an advantage in getting decent european players but nowhere near the quality that the Champions League teams could and would demand, so to be fair to Rodgers he is shopping within his means and budget and you cannot denounce him for that.
What is needed will take more than one or two seasons to see the benefits but what is clear is that whoever comes to Anfield needs to enhance the squad not make the current level stable, Rodgers needs to be given time to create a squad and the freedom to choose who enters the squad only then will we move forward.
So what is our realistic goals this season? Well we need to be in with a fighting chance of top four by February at least, and have a decent cup run, this will provide the stepping stones for improvement and justify the change of manager.
Brendan Rodgers is a good manager and will need to give him the time and respect to complete the job just as he has embraced the ethos and the tradition of the club, what we need to avoid is becoming like Chelsea who are happy to change manager like a back street prostitute changes men. We must also not accept failure either, what we need is a balance that gives the manager time but gives the club the option to make a change if things go dreadfully wrong.
What Liverpool fans must realise is that we are no longer a force in the premiership, yes its hard to stomach but its true like it or not, but that does not mean we cannot be again and with a manager like Rodgers and a squad that is full of confidence and with new additions, it is possible to return to our rightful place among the top four and back with the elite of europe.
So here we go again a new season, a new manager and a new set of hopes, the journey to Anfield, the banter with friends on the way and the sweet sound of the Kop in full voice awaits us for another fun filled season of joy, upset, frustration, excitement and controversy, what more could anyone want more than that.