Why Liverpool Must Keep On Believing In Rodgers

26 October 2012 11:28
Confidence is a funny old thing. Before the international break Arsenal had loads of it and now it’s temporarily vanished. It will return as quickly as it disappeared, but there’s little or no logic behind the timing of its eventual re-appearance.

It may take a two-yard toe poke at home to basement boys QPR to restore their usual vigour, it might be a lucky refereeing decision that helps gets their noses in front, or it could simply turn out to be an inexplicable and perfectly natural return to form. But whatever the reasons behind it, their self-belief is unlikely to return in all its former glory until the Gunners achieve one simple thing; and that’s a victory.

In spite of recent reports to the contrary, no amount of pro plus pills can replicate the boost that three points give to a footballer.

With this in mind, it’s imperative that Liverpool continue grinding out results. Their narrow, often uninspiring 1-0 victories over Reading and Anzhi Makhachkala will be long forgotten by the time business is wrapped up next May, but their significance could prove to be absolute.

Individually there were one or two bright sparks but nothing to get over-excited about. However, as a collective morale boost they are two of the most important performances they’re likely to produce all season.

You see, without belief Liverpool will be also-rans this season. With it, they can take giant strides towards the Rodgers Renaissance everybody at Anfield is tentatively dreaming of.

Never has a football team required more self-assurance than Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool.

To implement the Irishman’s fabled philosophy properly, Liverpool’s players need to have total belief in their technique and in the abilities of those around them.

Listen to Adrian on this weeks brilliant Red White and Blue Football Podcast HERE

Rodgers doesn’t tolerate players that shy away. Hiding isn’t an option. In tight situations, all over the pitch, you must give your team-mate at least an option to pass to you. Even if you don’t want the ball, you have to offer an angle. If your marker’s so tight you feel his breath on the back of you neck it doesn’t matter; you still show for the ball.

And then it’s down to you to handle that responsibility. Have you spotted someone else in space? Do you know where your next pass is going? Is your touch good enough to accept the ball in this tight spot? The answer to all of the above has to be yes. If it isn’t, you won’t fit in.

Rodgers’s style of football lives or dies by his players’ willingness to trust in themselves and their buddies. They have no choice but to be supremely confident in the work that they do.

Liverpool are a work in progress, and will continue to be for some time yet, because footballers (even world class ones) take time to adapt to radical changes in tactics. And make no mistake Rodgers’ uber-patient, ultra-fluid vision is still very much the exception, not the norm.

To get his players on board – especially those older, more cynical types – Liverpool simply have to win football matches.

With every three points, a greater willingness to listen closer to their managers’ instructions will emerge.

Right now, no one is questioning that Liverpool’s board are prepared to give the ex-Swansea City boss all the time he needs to turn the Reds into the well-oiled passing machines Rodgers was employed to develop – but if they don’t win games, doubts will creep in and the players might stop listening and begin considering life beyond their current head coach. And then it will be curtains for the pipe dream.

Right now it doesn’t matter how Liverpool win, as long as they do. Brendan Rodgers will make the Reds more stylish and sophisticated, but he needs confident players, and the confidence of his players, to make it happen.

Listen to Adrian on this weeks brilliant Red White and Blue Football Podcast HERE

Source: DSG