[dropcap]A[/dropcap]fter yet another high octane performance from Liverpool on Wednesday night against Burnley, Brendan Rodgers must be chomping at the bit for this weekend’s FA Cup clash with Blackburn Rovers. Liverpool have produced some high level performances over the last month and the win over Manchester City at Anfield just cemented the return of Liverpool’s amazing team spirit.
It is a far cry from the start of the season, where the departure of Luis Suárez and the influx of new players created a disjointed atmosphere within the team. Losing the title in the manner Liverpool did must have had a negative effect on the players. On top of that, with Suárez leaving and Daniel Sturridge hitting the injury room, Rodgers must have thought his luck could not get any worse.
This bad start saw sections of fans, along with critics, call for his head – it was not a good time to be the Liverpool manager. Football is always a funny old game and fortunes can change in an instant. For Brendan Rodgers though, it is the motivation and desire to achieve that makes him and his players believe that anything is possible.
Rodgers had to adapt, he started the season playing the same formation that proved so successful last year, but it became evident early on that the new players did not suit this. Rodgers took defeats – and bad ones at that – as he continually tinkered with the team, until that fateful day at Old Trafford when he adopted the 3-4-3 formation. Despite a heavy 3-0 loss, you could see the team were playing better, and a new era was born.
Rodgers’ attitude for hard work and maximum commitment is something to be marvelled. You see people moaning and complaining about his signings, but Rodgers only purchases players that buy into his beliefs. Footballers like Jordan Henderson and Emre Can are typical Rodgers players – willing to do anything, or play anywhere for the cause.
All this has been the catalyst for the return of fast paced attacking football. The worrying thing now for the rest of the Premier League is Rodgers seems to have developed the defence to be just as aggressive.
Brendan Rodgers must some days wake up and think, if Suárez was still here we would be on for the league title. When this magnificent form started in December, Rodgers was managing to do it without a recognised striker. The main man Sturridge was still out injured, and the rest of the striking pack were practically non-existent. Rodgers instead opted to play Raheem Sterling in the striker role, which even I thought was mad.
It was in doing this that Rodger’s made everyone responsible for achieving the result. You can now see that Liverpool no longer rely on one man to score the goals. In the past it was Gerrard, Torres or Suárez, but now everyone is expected to play their part. Rodgers has created such a team where everyone stands up to be counted, and he deserves tremendous credit for this.
Many managers would have buried their heads in the sand and thought “well I almost cracked Liverpool”, but not Rodgers – he is a problem solver and a visionary, and there is nothing he wants more than to return Liverpool to its place back on its perch.
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