Can Rodgers ‘do a Sacchi’?

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The imminent arrival of Brendan Rodgers and three of his generals at Liverpool has been met with mixed reactions. The optimist front regard this as a breath of fresh air and can already savor the Reds playing the fluid total-football that Swansea City had accustomed all Premier League enthusiasts last season, while the pessimistic lobby insist this is a step backward and that with this appointment the Club has no hope of going forward.

While I am known to be quite an objective writer, today I wish to be bolder than usual and make a very incisive consideration. While I am aware that a lot of things need to come together for it all to work, I will present the pessimistic front with one name and one story: Arrigo Sacchi! Ever heard of him?

Arrigo Sacchi’s beginnings were very similar to those of Brendan Rodgers. The Italian was a staunch philosopher of zone marking and brought the concept to the Serie A, being scooped up precociously by Silvio Berlusconi for his Milan after he had shown what his game was all about in two seasons with Parma in the lower divisions. I clearly remember those days, and I also remember very vividly that the Italian media were saying that Sacchi ‘would not arrive to eat the panettone in Milan’, meaning he would not make it to Christmas. However, the 40 year old (at the time, another close analogy) persisted in his beliefs and in his first stint at Milanello Sacchi managed to take one Serie A title, one Italian Supercup, two European Cups (now Champions League), two European Supercups and two Intercontinental Cups! All that in three seasons!

Sacchi went on to be Italy’s national team manager for five years culminating in the World Cup defeat to Brazil on penalties in the US!

The point here is that Brendan Rodgers shares various analogies with Arrigo Sacchi. He is almost 40, he professes a different game to the rest, he does not come with a pedigree, and he represents the same risk factor Silvio Berlusconi took when he signed him up to manage a Club that had the likes of Van Basten, Gullit and Rikjaard to mention a few. So having top stars did not sway him from achieving what Milan represented in those years. They were at the time what Barcelona are today: the best team playing the best football.

So even though Rodgers might not ‘do a Sacchi’, why not give him the benefit of the doubt? Surely we can’t do worse than last season? FSG might have ‘done a Berlusconi’, and if we hit gold, I can already see everyone singing their praises!


  1. The thing is sacchi went to the then barca. Rogers isn’t going to the now barca, he’s comming to Liverpool. Which i hate to say is no Barca at the min and with him here i dont see any Van Basten’s, Gullet or Rikjaard’s wanting to come play non champions league football for a unproven no major title winning manager. Its a step back Rogers want be eating the panettone.

    1. Sorry Deian you are wrong. When Sacchi went to Milan in 1987 they had not won the Serie A since 1979! They had won the previous European Cup in 1968! So Milan were living on their past just as much as we are now! The three dutch maestros were there not because Milan were in the European Cup, but because they wanted the Club to get there. You got your facts all wrong dude and Rodgers (not Rogers) will not only be eating the panettone, he will relish his Christmas pudding and negative people like you will probably be singing his praises.
      Sacchi did not go to the ‘then Barca’, he made AC Milan the ‘then Barca’! I not only read it, I witnessed it!

      1. Well said! I wish people would get off BR’s back ALREADY! This is a joke.. We’re supposed to be LFC fans ffs!

        Half of these people are just ignorant and don’t recognise the qualities of someone just because they’re not a ‘big name’ well Shanks wasn’t a big name and you’re bang on regarding Sacchi.

        I think the footballing philosophy of BR (which I bet these negative so called fans don’t even know) is based around the barca tika taka.. Fluid totall passing game. I for one wish the guy luck and very much look forward to seeing play as we USED to!

        I heard Aldridge on sky sports news today comment on How when he came we were a possession passing side and we need to get back to that! I think BR is the man to do it… Could be exciting times ahead.

  2. We need to stop the negativity and support Rodgers and all that he stands for, which is pretty much in line with the Liverpool way.

    For me, his Swansea team played the most attractive brand of football last season. So, if Rodgers brings that + a few new ideas to our squad then I really think we can do well.

    Can we qualify for the Champions League? Let’s hope so, but that part of the season is some way off. For now we need to embrace the arrival of Brendan Rodgers and see how the summer goes (transfers etc…).

    I would also like to hear from Mr. Henry – specifically his plans for the Club. What objectives has he given Rodgers? What does ‘year zero’ success look like??

    This is a new dawn for the Club and we all need to get behind all involved in LFC. And if Rodgers does a ‘Sacchi’ then I don’t think we’ll be complaining too much!!

  3. They played some great football but didn’t have the pressure of having to win every game like he will at liverpool will give him all my support and hope I’m wrong but really do think its a step bak

    1. Well, in truth they did have the pressure from the word go not to get immediately relegated! Can we try to be a bit more optimistic?

      1. Well, Swansea have been in pressure coz all the odds were showing that the swans were the front runners in the relegation battle. ………… i dont see a much bigger pressure than this one!!!

  4. All any true Liverpool fan can say is “good luck Rodgers!”
    We have to be behind the team and behind Rodgers from day 1! Make him realise who we are as a club and our beliefs!

  5. I must admit that I was praying for Rafa, Pep or Klopp to be unveiled as manager a fortnight ago. I clung to the words of FSG that they were looking for a manager that can take us to the next level, and although disappointed that Kenny had got the boot, I also struggled to think of managers we could realistically attract that would be an improvement.

    Let me make it clear how relieved I am that Martinez didn’t get the job. No disrespect to him, but I honestly don’t know what FSG seen in him last season, bar a good run of form at the death.

    Once Brendan revealed he didn’t want an interview, I didn’t even guess what we would be like under him. Needless to say, now the deal is to be finalised (at Anfield tomorrow with the Olympic torch) I think it is an absolutely magnificient coup. Of course people will say he is unproven, but is he really? I think this season has proven that he will eventually be a world class manager; he is very tactically sound, seems very mature for a young manager and talk of the town is that he has great banter. Banter alone with the players would give the team confidence in his ability as well as trust and soon followed by form.

    He has been strongly linked with Tottenham and Chelsea (United too?) over the last few months for those who did not know, and I think we are very lucky to have landed him indeed.

    I’m not going to predict where we’ll finish next season, but I’ve got a good gut instinct about this, and believe me when I say this gut instinct has never let me down yet. Hopefully, gone are the days where we’ll build an attack only for it to be played back to Pepe/Carra who would then hoof and hopefully it’s the return of the long awaited pass and move. The Liverpool groove.

    1. The first thing he needs is ACCEPTANCE: from the players, from the Kop and from the fans worldwide!

  6. Lets not write off Rodgers before he even started. Not a big name but we should give him a chance. He has my support and lets see how he delivers. The owners surely are not that stupid to pick any Tom, Dick and Harry to manage Liverpool. I think every person deserves to be given a chance and we should judge him only by the end of next season and not before he even steps foot into Liverpool club.

    1. The owners have gone for a manager that is 22/23 years younger with a completely different vision of the game. If he can instil his game into the squad I am quite confident we will do well.

    1. I think that is exactly what FSG are looking at. A new chapter to make history, because history alone does not win you titles! Let’s back them!

  7. Liverpool fans = the big i am liverpool have just taken the heart out of a little club, so stop winging and let them do their work
    ps im more gutted you have taken Colin Pascoe off us he has been our backbone for decades , we should have kept him and given him the Swansea job

    a swansea fan

    1. Chris. Don’t blame me for wishing your loss to be our gain. There were a lot of decoys thrown about, but if this comes good, it will be really good.

  8. Like most fans! If he can translate the football into liverpool with better players, and he makes anfield a fortress like he made swansea at the liberty, well with the players bought last summer settled in, and who”s to say that england do well and now with jordan henderson added, he (henderson) could do a david platt in italia 90, and become a star of the tournament, as with carroll and downing! And just think if the impossible happens and stevie g lifts the cup! (Dream land, I know) but things like that happen in sport, especially football! he will have a few new signings to add to what we have! And with chelski, both mancs clubs spending big, they might take time to settle, and all we and brendan needs is to start well, a good start is so important, good luck BR, and may you have all the luck in the world! No predictions, just make anfield a fortess again, and we’ll be half way there! C’MON U REDMEN! Y…N…W…A! Jft96!

  9. You need players who can play the Wogers way and we don’t have them. you can’t get plodders to play his way, Kenny tried it and when it worked it looked good, but with no real squad the wheel kept coming off.

  10. He hasn’t even been officially confirmed as the next Liverpool Manager and some of us are already bagging him FFS!!!
    When its officially confirmed by the club all I have to say is…

  11. What you fail to mention is that Sacchi had a massive cheque book at the time. Berlusconi bought the club and funded the re build through his massive media empire. He bought the worlds most expensive player in Guillet and all the other household names. Milan back then were what Man city and chelsea are now. I think there is more similarities to Roy Hodgson rather than arrigo Sacchi!!

    1. Wrong! True that Berlusconi spent big at the time, so have and so will Liverpool. The point in the comparison is the ‘guy without pedigree’ with ‘a different vision of the game from the rest’! Rest assured FSG WILL spend if it is necessary. They have spent in the past 18 months and we moved backward. They will spend again as they will not be deterred. Nothing to compare with Roy Hodgson who was not loved by the players or the fans from day 1 because he lived every single day in the shadow of Kenny so he never ever stood a chance! Be positive dude!

      1. Sorry but there is no way we will be able to compete financially as Milan were able to do at the time. Secondly the only thing this appointment shows me is that FSG really don’t know what they are doing. Hodgson wasn’t liked by fans but the majority don’t think Rodgers should have been given the job. Lots of managers have been promoted and played pass and move ….big deal

  12. couldn’t agree more a manager has next to no chance without the support of the fans! This will go one of two ways he will either be a huge success or a dismal failure, being a half full kind of guy I’m going to say he’ll be a success.

  13. There are thousands of very unhappy people in Swansea at the moment.Torn between two emotions – the fact that we have just lost probably the best manager we have ever had (including John Toshack)who just a couple of months ago was adamant that he would not leave the club,and also the fact that its difficult to begrudge him the opportunity to manage one of the world’s most prominent clubs.Liverpool fans are well-educated in how football should be played (proof of which was when they applauded off the Swansea players at Anfield)and as such will need to be patient with Brendan.He will need time to get his philosophy working on the pitch but will take a lot of the pressure off the players.You have landed yourself a brilliant manager who has the potential to win you the title,but patience is the key.

  14. All I can say is some of my friends who support Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal have been absolutely pi***** themselves at this appointment. And I don’t really have a comeback because I would be doing the same if one of them hired him

    1. That’s because none of you know anything. You’re all seduced by the glimmer and have no eye for talent. You aren’t football fans you’re celebrity spotters.

  15. 4 appointed managers in just over 2 years???? Start with Roy and look what he done, then King Kenny all the fans wanted, few bad buys and worst statistics than Roy and now Brendan Rodgers???? We have become a media joke and still continue to be one, we grabbing at straws now with both hands, FSG are going to ruin our club and take us down this is just history repeating with American owner’s I heard Brendan needs to work along side a Director of Football so it will be him pulling the strings Brendan is just the puppet and the fall guy, be realistic we didn’t want him and we definitely don’t need bad media we be laughing stock again sacked the King for Rodgers that’s a the biggest joke of all

    1. Jamie I think you are being slightly unfair and huge rash in your considerations! First of all 4 managers in 2 years: one was there for 6, one was not wanted and was not given the time to get going, then came Kenny who we all thoughts and wished would be our saviour, it was not to be so enter Brendan Rodgers. Brendan Rodgers will be asked to concentrate on the sporting side not to negotiate players and contracts. That is what a manager should do, that is what is done is Italy. The coach concentrates on the actual playing and is not involved in the commercial side of the business.
      ‘Didn’t want him’ is a bit audacious. You cannot speak that way about everyone. Like anything in life there are those that agree, and those like you that have their own theory! You need to pop your head out of your ass and come to terms with the fact that the King was not taking us places. We went backward! We had our worst season in decades. Rodgers has the same pedigree as Di Matteo who replaced a much pomped but unaccepted AVB and went to win two prestigious cups beating Liverpool and Bayern Munich, not Cardiff (with all due respect)! Get real, be positive, relax!

  16. I m so happy to see someone put out an article in support of Brendan Rogers let us don’t forget out of the promoted teams from Championship last season his club finished above others,his former Swans team was in top 10 possession ball team in Europe,he was continually linked with Tottenham before we snapped him up,his team plays beautiful football.To make a reference to some made managers over the years even when Pep took over at Barcelona he was a Team B manager and luckily for him he’s gone to make history for himself being a Manager that won the most trophy for Barcelona.Roberto Di Matteo’s got sacked in his previous job at West Brom before chelsea but now he’s made himself history for Chelsea winning their first ever Champions League Trophy after so many years of getting close to it.If anyone looks at our team we have the calibre of players that can make easily this pass and move ball Kenny tried but his outdated and primitive tactics let him down.Getting Kenny back was a huge gamble as he was out of management over 10yrs but credit to FSG by taking gamble on him but it failed to materialise.FSG have gone for a young bright contemporary manager and we need to give him our support and ride together with him tO be honest Brendan is a better manager to Martinez.Welcome Brendan Rome wasn’t built in a day

  17. Jamie, I don’t really think you’re a real red supporter!
    All you did in your comments here was vomiting negativity against someone who hasn’t even been appointed yet! Speak for yourself, don’t say WE didn’t want him, I’m pretty sure that the very big majority of Liverpool fans around the world are giving a big welcome to this guy. If you were thinking that Pep or Mourinho or any god manager were coming to Liverpool, you must be living on another planet. It seems that everyone’s wrong and we should all take your advice…if there was one!

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