Brendan Rodgers has been talking to the press today ahead of Liverpool’s upcoming game against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium – which takes place this coming Monday evening in North London.
The Reds will be looking to maintain our 100% start to the new season, which has so far comprised wins against Stoke City and newly promoted Bournemouth – both by a score of one goal to nil.
There was a large amount of controversy surrounding the goal against the Cherries, scored by Christian Benteke, due to the fact that Philippe Coutinho was in an offside position.
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However, Rodgers has dismissed the frustration of his opposite number that day – Eddie Howe – and insisted that he was pleased with how the Belgian took his first competitive goal since his move from Aston Villa.
“From a coaching perspective, we were very happy with the goal in terms of our short corner routine,” he said.
The only downside to the result was an injury to captain Jordan Henderson, who limped off just a few minutes into the second-half. Thankfully, Rodgers is hopeful that he might make the Arsenal game, saying: “We are assessing Jordan day by day. We will see how he goes in the next 48 hours.”
The boss was also quizzed on potential loan deals which could go through before the transfer window closes at the end of August, specifically for midfielder Jordan Rossiter. However, Rodgers believes that the 18-year-old could have a part to play in the first-team this season.
“I’m sure one or two will go out on loan,” he said. “[But] we have the Europa League and cup games. On Rossiter, we have a boy who has been brought up to the first team, he has great maturity and I can see him staying here.”
Rodgers was also asked about Alberto Moreno, who has lost his place at left-back to Joe Gomez but made a promising cameo in a more attacking role against Bournemouth last time out.
“Alberto has trained very well,” said the Northern Irishman. “He understands reasons why he’s not in team. But there will be opportunities this season.
Indeed, he said that there was unlikely to be any more business of any kind. He added: “I’m happy with the players we’ve brought in up until now, so nothing on players coming in, no. Nothing to add on players out, as well as in.”
The rest of the press conference was firmly based around the Arsenal game. Rodgers admitted that he was pleased with how his new-look team have adjusted to his tactical changes thus far and hopes that there’s more to come.
“Ideally, the consistency is important in your line-up but we have a squad which allows us to change it,” he explained. “If you assess the games we’ve had against Arsenal, especially at home, we’ve had dominance of the ball. If you assess the last 10 games they’ve lost at home, the teams that have won have had dangerous possession.
“The winners have averaged four shots on target with 43% possession. You don’t dominate the ball but you can dominate space. Tactically, we arrive with a good mind of how to win it. We are adapting and bringing new players into the team, and understand the defensive structure.
“That creativity will come as the season is on – but once that comes, it’s important you win. We’ve shown our character and organisation in the two games so far.There is a real focus in the group, a real mental toughness. We can scrap and fight, as well as play good football.”