Brendan Rodgers’ transfer policy beginning to bear fruit for Liverpool

brendan-rodgers

For all his tactical nous and man-management skills, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is often criticized quite openly for his transfer market moves.

Luis Suarez, Jordan Henderson, Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling, who were all so impressive last season during Liverpool’s ultimately-futile title charge, were all brought in before the current manager’s appointment. At the same time Joe Allen, Fabio Borini, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure all flattered to deceive.

After the sale of Suarez, Rodgers was presented with the ideal opportunity over the summer to strengthen his side in the areas that were lacking in the previous campaign. A new striker was urgently needed while gaping holes were present on the wings and in defense.

The personnel duly arrived with Emre Can and Dejan Lovren coming in to supposedly add defensive steel while the wings were filled up with the acquisition of Lazar Markovic, Adam Lallana, Alberto Moreno and Javier Manquillo. Moreover, the ever so popular Mario Balotelli was brought in instead of the mercurial Uruguayan up front.

Nevertheless, Liverpool’s start to the season wasn’t exactly ideal. By the end of November, they were in 11th place, a distant 16 points away from Chelsea after only 13 games. Manquillo and Moreno impressed in a couple of games, Balotelli looked completely lost as a striker while Markovic and Lallana offered very rare glimpses of quality.

Rumors of Rodgers’ departure started progressing from hush whispers to headline news. After the victory against defending champions Manchester City on Sunday afternoon the mood in the Kop couldn’t have been any more contrasting.

Five of the first XI against City were brought in during the summer alongside Allen, Phillippe Coutinho and Simon Mignolet, who all arrived during Rodgers’ time. So much for bad buying. 

After a shaky start, Lovren is slowly starting to look like his former Southampton self. Against Manuel Pellegrini’s side, the Croat managed to intercept the ball four times, the most of any player on the pitch, and his five tackles were only surpassed by Pablo Zabaleta’s seven. Alongside Martin Skrtel, the pair managed 22 clearances – the corresponding tally for the whole of the City back four stood at just 15 by the final whistle.

Markovic, Lallana and Can were all successful in more than 80% of their passes, despite the fast paced tempo of the match. It’s the German youngster that truly personifies Liverpool’s recent change in form with the Reds topping the form table since the turn of the calendar year. His move from midfield into defense has allowed Rodgers to change to a back three with all the wing players acquired in summer filling in the wing-back positions in a 3-4-3 formation.

The 21-year-old has played the full 90 minutes during all of the 2015 Premier League matches.

Rodgers has transformed his team into an increasingly difficult team to beat. The Northern Irishman’s transfer policy may not be as ridiculous as it seemed back in December now. 

A top four finish without Suarez, number one centre-forward Sturridge for large parts of the campaign and a dismal start will go a long way to proving those who doubted Rodgers’ transfer policy wrong. 

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One Response

  1. Brian March 2, 2015

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