Rodgers needs time not insults and catcalls
Feature by S J Bellis
Updated Friday, 24th August 2012
At the start of Brendan Rodgers tenure at Anfield, he warned the supporters of Liverpool Football Club that the transformation to his famed footballing philosophy would take time.
Yes, to have lost to West Brom is disappointing, even more so to lose by three without reply; but as Rodgers says: it’s going to take time. The transformation will not, and cannot, happen over night.
The players are, effectively, learning how to play football again. Previous managers may have lumped the ball over the top up to a waiting centre forward. Brendan Rodgers is seeking to change that. Probing defence, patience, small and meaningful passing; ball retention. After all, if the opposing team don’t have the ball then how can they score a goal?
Last night against Hearts shows that, while progress has been made in some areas, vast improvements are still needed in other.
Attackers need to stop being quite so profligate in front of goal. Borini worked himself in to a number of great positions last night but failed to convert his chances. He was unfortunate to strike the post on the stroke of half time but perhaps, if the killer instinct had been engaged, LFC would have gone in at the break a goal up.
The team as a whole need to stop being wasteful with in possession. Players at this level of the game should not be losing the ball from 10 or 15 yard passes, it just shouldn’t be happening. It’s the sort of thing that BR is getting across in his training sessions, although it doesn’t appear to have completely sunk in yet. Jamie C is an absolute legend of the game, and the club, but he seemed to be struggling last night and very nearly gifted the ball to a Hearts attacker with a horror back pass. Thankfully Reina was on his toes and came out to clear, but it could have ended worse.
It has to be said though, Jordan Henderson looks a completely different player in this new system. He was knocking balls in, picking out attackers. The sort of thing he should have been doing last season. One particular lofted pass in to Borini last night sticks in my mind. It was an excellent ball in from the right, but it was a just too long for Borini to reach. It showed that both of those players had the vision that is required under Rodgers’ new system of football.
As the boss has said, it will take time. When his philosophy clicks with the players, the football will be beautiful. There will be plenty of games like West Brom and Hearts this season; we just have to persevere and trust that the manager knows what he is doing and how to get there. YNWA.
Follow me on Twitter for occasional footballing insights at @srbellis