“Prince” Brendan is on a mission

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By Mark Sproule

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George Best, Alex “Hurricane” Higgins, Barry McGuigan, Danny Blanchflower, Elisha Scott, Martin O’Neill, AP McCoy, Norman Whiteside, Joey Dunlop, Darren Clarke, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy. To name but a few legendary sportsmen that hail from the small province of Northern Ireland (population 1.6M). All are sportsmen who have gone on to achieve notable success in their respective fields. The question on every Liverpool fans lips tonight is, will Brendan Rodgers name sit comfortably alongside that list in the next few years, having been appointed today to one of the greatest positions in world football.

As a fellow Northern Irishman and ardent Liverpool fan I must admit I was filled with a great sense of pride today watching Brendan Rodgers sit alongside Liverpool Managing Director Ian Ayre at a press conference which saw him officially unveiled to the world as the new manager of Liverpool Football Club. Appropriate perhaps that the meaning of the name “Brendan” translates to “Prince”, given that the County Antrim man succeeds the much adored “King” Kenny Dalglish, after what some might say was a premature sacking of the legendary Scot by the Merseyside club a fortnight ago. Credit to the new man in the tribute he paid to outgoing Dalglish in his post conference interview. “I suppose I first of all want to mention Kenny Dalglish, who is an incredible man. He’s obviously the best player in the history of this football club and he’s someone who adored Liverpool. He has nursed the club through some horrific times and also brought a lot of joy to the supporters here both as a player and a manager. He is someone I want to pay a great respect to because he’s a wonderful ambassador for this football club.”

If there was any doubt in the minds of the thousands of Liverpool fans calling for the return of another former manager in Rafael Benitez, or for a big name such as Pep Guardiola or Jose Mourinho, today should have called off the wolves for a while at least. I would think the way the former Swansea man conducted himself in his preliminary press duties today should certainly go some way to assure the Liverpool faithful that he is not another Roy Hodgson. Similar murmurings which preceded his appointment were of “a small fish in a big pond”, “a job too far for him”, “not a big enough name for Liverpool”. Only time will tell if these things are far from the truth in the case of Rodgers. What I will say is that every Mourinho, Benitez, Ferguson or indeed the great Bill Shankly himself had to ply their trade somewhere, only then did success make them a household name. I for one will give him the respect and support he needs in order to succeed in what is already a difficult task. A task which it appears Rodgers will revel in, having spoken of the “frustration” of LFC fans being one of the main things which attracted him to the club.

By all accounts the normally “trigger happy” US based Fenway Sports Group are going to give the Northern Irishman time to get the club back to where they belong. Let’s hope for the sake of the football club that they are true to their word. Longevity of managers at United and Arsenal has guaranteed them Champions League football year in and out, this should be remembered by the American owners as they seek a return for their investment. It is clear from what Rodgers had to say today that he has a clear technical football philosophy. This was evidenced last year with his newly promoted Swansea team being lauded in their first season in the premier league for the way they played the game, and the miracle Rodgers achieved in finishing 11th on a mere budget of £7 million. Liverpool already has a strong group of players who underachieved in the Premier League in 2012. Rodgers will embark on putting his own stamp on this group of players along with some new additions to the squad. I get the feeling exciting times lie ahead again at Liverpool Football Club and that this will not be another false dawn. Perhaps the luck of Irish might see some of the 308 missed chances in 2011-2012 (highest in Premier League) turn to goals under the new man and Liverpool return to competing with the Elite clubs of Europe before too long. For now I would urge all of our supporters to get behind the team and new manager, and sit back and enjoy an excellent brand of attacking football. There will no doubt be some more frustrations and disappointments along the way, but hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day.


  1. Great artical im from dublin and a massive lfc fan and i even feel so proud that a man from IRISH soil is takin over my great club i really hope this is the start of something magic PLEASE GOD…….YNWA

  2. I consider it reckless and disrespectful to refer to FSG as ” normally trigger happy”. Roy Hodgson was doomed before he even started the job and was sacked to appease the fans chanting Dalglish’s name every day of the week.Kenny no matter how good a player he was or how lucky he was to inherit the team Bob Paisley built the first time he was manager, there is no getting away from the fact that he was terrible at dealing with the media and that never changed in the 20 odd years between his first and second appointments. It is naive and irresponsible to suggest that Kenny was sacked purely on football results and we all in our hearts know that. He was sacked because he was bad press and was as disruptive as he was cohesive. His public image was seriously damaged in the Suarez affair and that in turn hurt the image of the club and of course FSG when the story was on the broadsheets in the states. Hiding behind language as an excuse for not being prepared to have dialogue with Ferguson in the aftermath of the Suarez incident was stubborn and futile in the end as there was only ever going to be one outcome. The T-shirt excercise at Wigan the day of the charges was also ill-advised and a blatant fingers up at racisim.

  3. need some four leaves clover then …
    but to be honest, I have a intuition that this guy Brendan would do a miracle for LFC in a long term. It’s not logical but I just got the hunch.

    1. Some of the things you bring up are true and I agree with. However to imply that Kenny was only a good manager because he inherited a great Liverpool side that Bob Paisley built is not right.

      Kenny built possibly the best Liverpool team I have seen in my near 40 years supporting the team. Barnes, Beardsley, Houghton, Aldridge, McMahon had nothing to do with Bob or indeed his successor Joe Faigan. Of course some the old team were still around, but changes needed to be made to stay ahead of Everton and Arsenal…..so credit where it is due. Kenny never finished lower than 2nd winning 3 league titles and 2 FA cups in his first stint.

  4. I think everyone needs to take a chill pill with this Rodgers shit, everyone says oh he will bring us back, he will get us playing great football again, hey everyone did you read the part where we it said we had 308 chances on goal the highest in the league, yes we lost a lot of games but that was down to not finishing off
    not because we didn’t play well.
    Not to mention that Chelsea will sign Hulk and Hazard so lets not forget that all these other teams are getting more and more stronger, three years he won’t do it, i’m sorry but all you guys believe in him i don’t. I don’t really care if he can handle the press or not, that’s why we have PR people in the club, what experience does he have to teach the likes of Suarez, Gerrard, these are players that have played football on the world stage, they have played football all over the world, not to mention any other world class players looking for a way out of their current position, players go to teams because of managers as well. I hope i am wrong but just like the fans who never wanted LVG, AVB or even Rafa i never wanted this guy.

  5. I agree 100%!, great article and im very excited by what is going on at Liverpool…………………Im gutted to lose KK the man is a legend and will be loved forever by reds fans!!!

    Please support our new manager. what is happen is happened, he is now our new manager.
    Whoever he wanted to sign, just give him a support, not always blame manager until the manager get panic like former managers.

    Always manager get panic because of pressure from fans, not from the owner actually. The owner pressure the managers bcos they got pressure from fans… SO FANS HAVE TO STOP EVERYTHING AND ONLY GIVE SUPPORT TO THE CLUB.

    Dont teach the owner or manager to sign this player, to sign that player. At the last they get panic and will sign stupid players.
    PLEASE stop everything.

    He is young,hot,sharp thinking & attacking mind Manager. DONT spoil him and give support to him, We Can Be A EPL Champion if they got support from us. PLEASE!!!

  7. As an irish man from the republic. mayo. I was oozing the same way. My other irish mates were emailing about signing the Hulk and hazard for their respective club…it was just a buzzing noise outside the glass dome of happiness. I felt that day like i was when Kenny resigned. Some kind of magic was in the air. I have a strong feeling about being irish. Borders mean shit.

    When the news broke some years ago about George best i was in centra and saw the paper. RIP BEST. I called my man united friend…it was silence on the phone. He said it best when he proclaimed ”its like some kind of magic in the world has died”. Now i want to leave the whole irish thing behind and talk about this man Rogers.

    He wont cave in on his principles of how the game is played. Amazing when you consider… he brought a team up as a new manager to the premier league from a much less quality of football in the championship, and you refuse to change your ideology on how to play the game. that takes balls. Its difficult to remember a manager in the past who has done this in england.

    he is matching manunited for ball retention and pass completion. this is a united team built on many players like rooney 35 mill, ferdinalnd 25 million, dee gea 17 mil, vidic 25 million, berb 35, young 35 , the list goes on. You are basically using a team system to achieve performances that go against the market value. Its like the isle of man discovering oil of its coast and turning into a saudia arabia in a few months. Its amazing. My logic, which has been severely tested, is the best 11 players on the field wins. At swansea that wasnt the case. based on this ….what would he do with a much higher standard of player who buys into his philosophy…

    Rogers doesnt need time, his new players to. That man has got swansea to out play everyone this season. Sorry but maybe he needs to do a over haul of
    the current squad.

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