Recapturing The Liverpool Way

Posted by

By Matt Volpi

Brendan Rodgers does not have an incredible CV.  An abortive period at Reading and a wonderful, yet brief period at Swansea. That alone is not enough to inspire confidence; but of course, Liverpool fans’ confidence in the personnel and decision making of their team has hit a resounding low since the day the Hodge was appointed as the man to bring Liverpool a title challenge. What Rodgers has is a philosophy. A clear managerial and football philosophy that he will risk everything for, that if it fails, he will shoulder any blame for points lost, goals conceded and mistakes.

Kenny Dalglish has an incredible CV. Kenny Dalglish is the heart and soul of the football club. But as last season progressed, it became clear that a tactical philosophy was non-existent, that players were sent out purely with the instruction to play well and express themselves. Where formations were set, but roles were not, where a distinct, consistent and functional style of play was sadly lacking.

How is it we like to play football?  What is the Liverpool way? It hasn’t existed for a while.

That’s why Brendan Rodgers is the right man to take Liverpool back to where they belong, and to do it in the right way.

As one of the only managers left in the football world with a unique way he likes his team to play football, Brendan Rodgers comes to Liverpool to change things. He comes to try and define us again, to recapture the Liverpool way.

Liverpool built their reputation as a team that murdered their opposition. That didn’t just win games, but comprehensively beat teams, running them into the ground with slick, patient passing and tiring them out with incessant keep ball. Teams left Anfield mentally and physically drained. That was Liverpool. That was the Liverpool way.

Rodgers has the same idea of how he wants his side to play football. He made it happen at Swansea, taking a team of largely championship players to achieve more than the sum of their parts. It’s a system that won him huge plaudits last year. “Tika-Taka” it’s been called. It’s an ideal used by the greatest teams of all time, of Liverpool in their prime, and now Barcelona. A system where all 11 players are used to create a patient and clever passing game, where space is slowly and slyly opened up, where the ball is moved between all 11 players in the side without rush, without useless long balls, and where the opposition are pressed hard and fast when they are lucky enough to gain possession for themselves.

“I want to use the incredible support to make coming to Anfield the longest 90 minutes of an opponent’s life, that’s the idea. I want to see this great attacking football with creativity and imagination, with relentless pressing of the ball.”

The words of Rodgers on the day of his appointment as the new Liverpool boss. Words that bear similarity to quotes from the great managers of our time, from Shankly and Paisley. Words that every Liverpool fan would be excited to hear, every cynic and opposition to the appointment included. Words that echoed the philosophy of Liverpool teams from the best days of our club, where the Liverpool Way was the foundation that each season was built on.

It was a hell of a press conference. You only get one chance to make a first impression, and a first impression is incredibly important to our fans. We’ve become an untrustworthy, cynical group of supporters, ready to pounce on the slightest mistake, disbelieving of good intentions.  And who can blame us? Hicks. Gillett. Hodgson. They’ve all left their mark.

So it was incredibly encouraging to see Brendan Rodgers go out there and completely reassure every worry we had.

Not only did we see promises about the kind of football that was to be played, we saw an air of power and confidence. Rodgers immediately commanded respect from us. When he answered a question meant for Ayre to talk about how he needed full control over the team matters and would not work under a director of football, it showed confidence and belief.

But possibly the most impressive and important thing he came out with though was his statement that he would shoulder any blame for the teams failings while under his charge. Where Hodgson was quick to blame the performances on his players, Rodgers was quite the opposite. Where Hodgson quickly bristled at questions with responses like “Would you ask Rafa Benitez that?” Rodgers was effusive in his praise for Kenny Dalglish, citing him as a legend of the club and admitting to never being able to compare himself with him.

It’s time to define ourselves as a club again, and Rodgers is our best chance to do that. Given time, and the owners have promised that, he can implement a system that brings us back to where we should be. And he can do it by recapturing the Liverpool Way.


Follow me on Twitter @matt_volpi for more condensed thoughts.

More Stories brendan Recapturing rodgers The Liverpool Way


  1. In 1985-1990 LFC under KING Kenny played awesome footy, 2nd time around again they played awesome footy… hitting woodwork 40 times!!!!!. All pass & move. 2 cup finals!!!. And you say no tactics??.

    Ray Houghton LFC legen said Kenny team this time around had a game plan well??.

    B.R. has a lot of pressure to produce the goods, how long will he have ?, Kenny had one season!!…YNWA LONG LIVE THE KING DALGLISH!!!!!

    1. its all abt results isnt it. ‘Time’ with good results = contract extension. 6th and 7th will soon speed up the ‘time’ machine!. its not likely for BR ,but , he could be gone in 9 months if we are in the lower half of the table.remember what kenny was told…champions league was the minimum requirement, wonder what Rogers was told the minimum …

      I guess if you or I were managing fenway in the morning watching a load of lads running around with bats , we would be like, get a good few batters and pitchers, and if they dont turn out right…its someones fault, how can you not find a decent batter or pitcher mnaager, your sh*t, be gone. Ignorance of the game of baseball makes decisions on what should happen much easier…to them football must seem very black and white…when we know football is a hell of lot more complex.

  2. My sentiments exactly. Can’t wait for next campaign…heck I ca’t wait for pre-season!

  3. Good article, I’m cautiously positives about the appointment of BR. I would prefer Louis Van Gal as he’s more known in the football world & can bring in decent bigger names player. Fingers cross tho, hoping he’ll have a good first season & get us to champions league

    1. I agree, van gal would be ideal for the first two years, let him bring in some talented young players from holland and spain and then give Rogers the time to build an empire on that. As i said in comment below, i just dont believe FSG will give him time if the results are bad. There is an awful attitude in that team after getting the carling cup, they stopped giving a crap abt the league as they had the europa cup qualified for. I hope rogers follows the likes of ferguson and jose and just drop and sell players who dont get their finger out. I can see him clashing with people like adams who seems to stroll around the pitch putting in tackles when he feels like it.

  4. ”a decent period at Swansea”…I didnt bother reading the rest of your blog at first because to say ‘decent period’ at Swans shows you are not up on what an achievement bringing a club from wales for the first time, with no facilities, training pitch and funding for players, into the hardest league in football, and then get 11th place in your first season…and with that style of football. Thats more than decent man. Next season i predict we will end up around 8th and get better after that. He doesnt have the players yet. If you look at swansea team, how many unmobile charlie adams do you see in midfield. Not one. He inherited a a lot of very handy two footed players. I think the average age of that team is very young also. We need youth to take on this system. The great players like gerrard might find old habits die hard and will go for too many hollywood passes as he tries to break open teams. My liverpool brothers,im sorry but next year is going to be dog s**te, i just cant see enough there to suit his type of game. to be honest, id love if we got rogers in two years time, i think its too early for him, but he is the right man im certain….but FSG…do ya really think they will give him any more than two years if we are 7th and 8th, the way they chopped managers at fenway, guys who brought them massive succes but had a bad season, GONE in a blink of an eye.

  5. You put Hodgson up there with Hicks and Gillett?!? Jesus man get a grip – It’s this kind of sensationalism that has really exposed some Liverpool fans/commentators over the last 18 months. The suarez affair and the treatment of hodgson were the first time in 13 years as a season ticket holder i have ever cringed at what our fans say. Truly embarrassing how blinkered some people were getting – almost sounding like bloody United fans IMO. But i digress, Rodgers is i agree a fantastic appointment – I just hope in 6 months after 3 or 4 bad performances you aren’t calling for his head and putting him in the same sentence with the hodgson yanks too. YNWA

  6. I’d have been excited by such words only had they been emitted by the lips of Rafa Benitez.

    Nothing that Rodgers has said or done is better, or more suitable, than what Rafa could have done – has already done.

    What Rafa has achieved thus far makes Rodgers’ C.V. look inconsequential.

    Why, oh why, was Rafa not even considered? Egregious error. Appalling snub.

  7. FSG had appointed BR and entrusted him with the role of managing the whole team in terms of footballing matters and there he go the pressure is already on.lest we forget what cost Kenny is job was spending too much money on mediocre players besides we seem to have only one game plan hitting the ball long for Big Andy to control we couldnt pass the ball through the middle of the park,we were not inventive on the wings especially on the right wing,players like Henderson being played out of position constantly despite his ineffectiveness on the right wing,kenny’s inability to kill off lesser teams maybe we mainly won top teams because we hit them on counter and we became too predictable..Well lets see what BR can do with this squad of players i m cautiously optimistic and my hands are itchy for next season to begin

Comments are closed