The departure of Steve Clarke from the Liverpool management and technical staff compliment will not be the last. Clarke is the fifth hi-profile casualty of what proved to be a season of much promise and very little reward. More will follow him out of Melwood in the coming weeks.
Now that Henry & Co have cracked their whip to almost BDSM level, it’s time for Brendan Rodgers and his lieutenants to instill a new regimen at Melwood! The players need to step up to the plate. They need to do this for starters by implementing what Rodgers has stated “It is quite simple. You come in and do a hard day’s work. You make sure in training and on match days you come in and you can take your top off and wring it out and it will be soaking wet”. In hindsight, we saw too many pictures on the Clubs website of players seemingly having a field day during training and smiles all over the place! Could it be that Kenny & Co did not get as much as they could from the squad? Our intrinsic inconsistency must have a culprit: someone must have been doing something wrong!
There will be no wholesale changes this summer. If the Reds lose any player, it is not going to bring in any real money and the only player for whom clubs all over Europe have been throwing us money for is Luis Suarez who is thankfully NOT FOR SALE! The famous money-ball concept: that of buying players within the 25 year bracket with 5 year contracts for possible good re-sale value is not going to work with the players brought in the past 18 months, not after their first disappointing season. The Club needs to nurture the talent it has in-house and bring in the necessary inserts to make the ‘Rodgers Way’ work! There will be no spending spree this summer either. We went down that road and it did not work. FSG have gone down a different and less bank shattering route: overhauling the management side from the ground up (even though they actually started at the top working their way down).
There is no doubt that Brendan Rodgers knows what he is talking about! The pessimists may call it luck, but he did bring a low-budget Club into the Premier League, finished 11th, and played some of the finest football to rave reviews. Will it work at Liverpool? If it doesn’t it most certainly will not be Rodger’s fault! This time, the brunt of the blame will have to fall on the players. I believe assembling Swansea’s squad for their first Premier League season might have cost them round about the same amount we spent on one ‘very expensive player’, but Rodgers and Co imposed their training methods and their game plans on their players and they pulled it off! In the end, it was the players that went for battle, and it was following their General’s tactics that made them win the war.
Brendan Rodgers will not be looking over his shoulders for advice! He will not be consulting with his assistant manager to decide if the team needs reshaping during the course of a game not going to plan!
He might kick off with an advantage here over Dalglish! Aside from the humongous task of changing training and playing methods, which will certainly be his top priority, he will have the added benefit of having Lucas back, a back four that was getting better and better, and the possibility (God forbid injuries during Euro 2012) of having Gerrard and Carroll hit the start of the season in much better form than they did last year! Gerrard does not do half the running he did a few years back, but he is still as influential as he ever was and he is the person that can ‘mediate’ between Rodgers and the players! He can and will do this as he will lead by example!