By the time you read this Brendan Rogers may have been confirmed as our new manager.
This represents something of a turnaround from last week when Wigan’s Roberto Martinez was touted as favourite for the post? However, most of the talking in the papers on that subject was done by the Wigan Chairman. He seemed to think the terms and conditions that Fenway wanted to apply to the appointment would deter Martinez from taking the job. Rogers also seemingly bulked at the post as he didn’t want to be part of long selection process that included other candidates?
So far there has been no mention of conditions, if any,Rogers will have to work under. No doubt all this will become clear in the fullness of time yet the prospect of Rogers having to team up with a “Director of Football” figure still seems to be on the cards with Louis van Gaal looking favourite for the post. Van Gaal has, putting it mildly, been around the managerial block numerous times and at the highest level. He is hardly likely to be backward in coming forward when trying to assert his influence on the running of the team. How will Rogers react to that? May say the appointment of Rogers is a gamble however, perhaps the real risk is the appointment of Rogers with another? We shall see.
Despite being sacked by Reading a few years back it is Rogers’ achievements at Swansea that have caught the eye. I doubt many would have disagreed with the pre season notion that they would go down however, they finished well away from the relegation dog fight in mid table. Many have compared Swansea’s style of play to that of Barcelona clearly there is a gap in terms of talent and resource however the style of play has some similarities. As Pep Guardiola was a distant, unobtainable pipe dream, perhaps Fenway see Rogers as the next, and considerably cheaper, best thing? I guess it says a lot about him that having ruled himself out of the post, Fenway still, albeit after the trail for Martinez seemingly went cold, renewed their efforts to secure him?
What of the reaction? This is an appointment that is bound to worry many and, as mentioned before, it will be seen as something of a gamble? For Rogers it represents a natural (if quick) progression up the managerial ladder and clearly the hope is that the good work he has produced will be replicated and improved on at a higher level,. No doubt Rogers will relish his first taste of European Football as a manager and the challenge of higher expectations at Anfield? However, at thirty nine years old Rogers is comparatively young so inevitably there will be doubts about his ability to deal with the more senior players in the squad? Will he encounter the same problems, on and off the pitch, allegedly faced by André Villas-Boas at Chelsea? To this end there will be those who would have wanted to see a tried and tested manager with a proven track record at the highest level to take over. Quite who we would take and, more to the point, who would come to us is a mater of speculation? One also has to remember that these managers, early on in their careers, were in the same position asRogers. They were given a chance just as Rogers’ has been given today.
Others will see it an exciting chapter in the history of the club, a fresh face with new ideas and an opportunity to put right some of the obvious wrongs that are still present in the team. Whatever the case Liverpool fans should get behind Rogers and exercise the patience that in all honesty wasn’t fully extended to Roy Hodgson or even, in some areas, to Kenny Dalglish. Failure to do so and it will be odds on we will have another managerial casualty on our hands. There have been too many recently and if the club is to move forward we, and the owners, can’t afford another?