Kenny Dalglish and Roy Hodgson are big names. Make no mistake about it. Anyone who hasn’t realized the greatness of Kenny “The King”, take a look at his era. But the fall of Liverpool was a combination of many things, as several people fail to realize.
The poor vibes began percolating from the owners themselves, with Gillet and Hicks doing disasters with the club. Very poor investment of money in very mediocre players took the club down. They believed that Downing can play well for Aston Villa and so he can play well for Liverpool. Money was not only foolishly spent, it was spent without intent. It was like Manchester City being silly or something.
But Brendan Rodgers came in to a more sensible ownership of Tom Henry. And he came in with a more energetic approach, with added qualities of himself, instead of relying on the vastness and quality of the club. He decided to add to it, fuelled ambition and started making the club his home. Small things made big differences. The red nets, the sign in the tunnel and the words of Brendan Rodgers started making this compact togetherness among the people. This was the change in emotions he brought.
Players. He started removing players who did not perform well. He gave them a fair chance to prove their rich pays. And he established a system of fluid football. Those not fitting in it were asked to leave. Downing, for one, improved a lot in the one season, but he is a player of the footballing style of West Ham or Newcastle. Hence he left. He improved Jordan Henderson by identifying his true strength: Work Rate. There was a different energy altogether when the team started understanding him on field.
His signings of Sturridge and Coutinho were a masterclass. They have given Liverpool’s attack a new dimension. Even Mignolet has been a fantastic addition. Making Luis Suarez the free flowing striker and Sturridge the central one, developing Sterling and giving Gerrard a new role were some of his really great decisions. He has faith in his players, and pushes them to prove his faith. The chance he gave to Jon Flanagan was a major gamble; big cash rich clubs would just buy a full back instead. But his decision might have given a major encouragement to the Youth Academy.
His flexibility in tactics is his USP and the training he gives players to respond to changes is brilliant! It gives him the unpredictability he needs.
That is what Liverpool has become. Fast, Fluid, Passionate and Unpredictable. Anfield Nights will roar once again.