The prediction (still no official announcement at the time of writing) on Wednesday that Brenda Rogers will be Liverpool’s new manager will be met with a fair amount of skepticism and surprise. FSG seem to be applying their formula of bringing in a young, progressive, manager that has both on eye on developing youth as well and promoting attacking football. The problem is Rogers’s doesn’t have a pedigree that would lead anyone to think he has the credentials to take Liverpool into the top 4 of the Premiership or lead them successfully in Europe. If you look at his managerial record and the clubs he’s been in charge of i.e. Watford, Reading and Swansea, you would not be inspired to thinking he’s the man to take any team, never mind Liverpool, to trophy winning glory. From a statistical perspective Roger’s win-ratio doesn’t make you believe he’s destined for greatness either. Of the 151 games he’s been a manager he’s won 41%: Watford 32 games 41%, Reading 23 games 26% and Swansea 96 games and a win ratio of 45%. Compare that to AVB: 121 games and a 62% win-ratio, Rijkaard 397 and 53% and Rafa 55%. Given this stat alone the decision becomes more difficult to wrap your head around.
Now it may well be that Rogers will be a great success at Liverpool but the reality is the owners have still taken a big gamble. Let’s be honest, any manager, no matter how experienced, is going to be a gamble, think AVB and Chelsea. What seems to have attracted FSG to Roger’s more than anything is his philosophy toward attacking, possession, football, al la Barcelona, and ensuring each player knows exactly where he needs to be on the pitch. He talks about frustrating teams by not giving the ball away versus simply hoofing it up the field and instantly loosing possession and this approach seems to have paid dividends for him at Swansea. To learn his craft Rodgers has also travelled extensively around Europe studying different coaching techniques, and he speaks Spanish and Italian which will come in handy with the current squad or if Aquilani
ever puts a red shirt again. You also have to think that with a squad of higher quality players, no disrespect to Swansea, Roger’s approach could see Liverpool much improved and winning more consistently, especially at Anfield
Last season Liverpool played some very good football under Kenny
and were not that far away from being a very good side. With the £25m that’s being mentioned as being made available to Roger’s it will be fascinating to see who he goes for and, in turn, who he decides to sell. It should give us a clear indication as to what approach he intends to take.
Would Roger’s have been my choice for manager? No. I always felt that if FSG were readyto spend £35m for a player then they should be prepared to pay for the best manager available. They have ‘t done this in terms of experience and proven success at winning trophies but now the decision has been made (to be confirmed of course) I’m willing to give Roger’s the benefit of the doubt and get right behind him. What will be critical is exactly how many season’s FSG will be prepared to give Roger’s to become successful. My guess is because they chose him it will be a lot longer than Kenny.