Liverpool must give Rodgers time to enact grand plan
Published: 27.08.12 / Written by: David Gold
It must feel like groundhog day if you are a follower of Liverpool.
A new manager, but the same old story. Defeat to teams they really should be beating with ease. On this occasion, a 3-0 reverse at West Brom. It has had fans complaining about Rodgers' lack of pedigree, their inability to finish, the players' tendency to pass it too much already.
In some ways, this is the result of Rodgers never being quite accepted as the right man for the Liverpool job. Roy Hodgson had a similar problem to overcome when he was at the club. But it is imperative that he is given the time he needs to change Liverpool and make them a better team.
To judge anyone on one game of football is ridiculous. Liverpool made some errors at the weekend, caused by unfamiliarity with the new system they are getting used to, in particular the need to pass the ball out of defence. But how else do you get used to something other than by being forced to practise it under pressure? Rodgers was probably right to say Liverpool will have more defeats like this.
And so Liverpool need to accept that the rebuilding process will take time. It will not be easy. A new team and philosophy have to be created. The type of player Rodgers is going for, from Joe Allen to Nuri Sahin and Michael Johnson, show where he wants to go. Andy Carroll is surplus to requirements. This Liverpool are going to be one who pass the ball and move it.
But it does not happen overnight. Either you buy a completely new first team, or you get the existing players used to the new system. For Liverpool it is clear that they have a long way to go, but they will continue to experience defeats like the West Brom one if they continually chop and change, indecisively moving from one manager to the next. They need to commit, as the owners seem to have, to one manager, to one idea, and ensure they carry out the plan decisively and with certainty.
It may be difficult for the fans, but there can be no going back. Rodgers has shown he is good enough to do what he is trying to do now. Swansea were changed in part by Paulo Sousa and Roberto Martinez, but Rodgers actually took them into the Premier League and kept them there with some superb football. The attention to detail and control they exercised during matches last year was a demonstration of the justification of Rodgers style.
This is a man who admires the Spanish game and the way their players are taught. He is trying to bring that Spanish mentality to Anfield, and it is a path worth sticking to for Liverpool. But it will take a while. Patience is of the essence in this particular journey.