I Was Wrong About Rodgers, He Is The Right Man For Liverpool

I had my criticisms and perhaps I should've reserved judgement until the end of the season, but I'm prepared to be the big man, eat a big piece of humble pie and admit Rodgers may be right for Liverpool.
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I had my criticisms and perhaps I should've reserved judgement until the end of the season, but I'm prepared to be the big man, eat a big piece of humble pie and admit Rodgers may be right for Liverpool.

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Okay. It takes a big man to admit he's wrong. I am, therefore, a big man. I admit that I may have been wrong in my reservations on Brendan Rodgers and his suitability to manage Liverpool Football Club.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that the majority of this season has been a learning process and that the playing squad is moving further toward the manager's vision with every game.

Yesterday's hard won victory over an in form Spurs side demonstrates the progress made since August. The early concentration on shape and possession has been augmented since the close of the transfer window by an ability to add purpose and variety to the play. The initial insistence on keeping the ball at all costs and building from defence which contributed to early season errors is no longer so rigid. Our defence is now willing to take the option of an early ball if available, secure in their ability to retain possession if necessary.

As a base for launching attacks our back line has grown in their understanding of Rodgers' requirements. As a defensive unit they clearly still need attention. Their ability to deal with crosses into the box is still suspect. Our current game plan appears to be to score as many as possible and trust that it will be more than the opposition.

Accordingly this match saw a team selection bravely heavily biased toward attack; Gerrard and Lucas sitting behind Coutinho, Downing, Suarez and Sturridge. And, again, Rodgers' early season decisions have been crucial in his ability to make such selections.

The open criticism of Downing and Enrique? Repaid with a increased application and work rate from both. Downing forced to play as left back? An education in the mentality of the defenders he now faces in his role on the right. Downing is now providing a distinct balance in the team, allowing Suarez to roam freely.

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Enrique played on the left wing? An understanding of the movement of his own centre forward paying off in his provision of early, purposeful long balls to the attackers.

Absolutely crucial to the increased form and improved balance to the team has been the return of Lucas; his surety at the base of midfield has been key to Gerrard's freedom to once again play across the entire midfield. Gerrard is, very subtly, having an immensely influential season.

And the January acquisitions? Sturridge gives us dynamism and a direct approach, a traditional centre forward's ability to lead the line and hold up play. Coutinho, in these early days, gives us something truly special - vision, creativity, inventiveness. His involvement in Suarez' opening goal was sublime.

That Tottenham came to dominate in the second half was, given their current form, possibly to be expected. That our equaliser was provided by a moment of madness from Walker and Lloris was fortuitous but the fact that we continued to push for first an equaliser and then a winner is testament to a strengthening of our previously fragile mentality.

So, we finally have a victory over a top four team, winning a game without dominating rather than dominating without winning and we are showing increased invention, purpose and organisation.

I will invite the inevitable ridicule now; this could be a turning point.