In this fourth and final installment we pick up from the 2014/2015 season where Rodgers’ Reds finished sixth in the league.
The Leicester City game is fast approaching and the battle for third place is on the line. Here at LFCTR, we explore the impact Brendan Rodgers had as his time as Liverpool boss.
The 2014/2015 season would be Rodgers final full season as Reds boss. Rodgers would go on to be dismissed in October 2015 after a poor run of results in the league. Jurgen Klopp would come in to replace the departing Rodgers and the rest, as they say, is history…
Rodgers started the season by vanquishing his 6-1 defeat suffered in May by playing Stoke City in the opening game. Liverpool won the game 1-0 after a superb 86th-minute strike from Phillippe Coutinho.
“I love to run on the streets around here. I love seeing the people going about their business. These are our people. I love running late in the afternoon, when the doors are open and the dinners are on, and you can smell the mince cooking…”Brendan Rodgers on the City of Liverpool
The Reds would also go on to beat Bournemouth and gain a point against Arsenal. The form would not last as Liverpool lost 3-0 to West Ham. This was The Hammers first victory at Anfield since 1963.
Liverpool would go on to lose against their old rivals Manchester United 3-1 in September. They would fail to beat Everton in a 1-1 draw and register just one win in the last nine games. Just one hour after the Everton game, Brendan Rodgers was sacked by Liverpool FC.
Rodgers’ Impact on LFC
Brendan Rodgers was key to bringing belief to Liverpool fans once again and making us dream. Rodgers gave us all moments we will never forget and players we will never forget.
The Northern Irishman developed his team and established the likes of Raheem Sterling, Phil Coutinho and Luis Suarez to become global superstars. These players would fund the purchases of Van Dijk and Alisson in the future.
Rodgers also illustrated why you can’t spend £117m and just hope for success. The ten players he brought in during the 2013/14 season should be a lesson learned to Klopp and his team.
You can’t build success by just buying it, you have to create it.
In the 2015/2016 summer window when Rodgers was still at the helm, Liverpool brought in James Milner, Joe Gomez and Roberto Firmino. These three players are all still key figures to the team and are attributed to the success Jurgen Klopp has tasted at Anfield.
Along with Lovren, Lallana and Origi, these six players transferred in by Rodgers and his team brought Liverpool the Champions League in 2019 and then, finally, the Premier League in 2020.
Rodgers also ushered in £32m signing Christian Benteke and Nathanial Clyne. Liverpool’s total outgoing transfer spend was a figure of £79m. Their incomings totalled at £59m.
Glen Johnson, a regular starter under Rodgers, was released in July 2015. The Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard was also released (as discussed in the previous article; I can’t go over it all again, it causes too much heartache).
Iago Aspas left Liverpool in a £5m deal to Celta Vigo where he has tasted moderate success. Two of Rodgers signings in Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini would also leave in the summer window of 2015.
Mario Ballotelli left for AC Milan on loan and would eventually see his Liverpool contract terminated. The Italian enigma was only at Anfield for two years after his £20million move to Merseyside in 2014.
By far the biggest transfer of the summer would be Raheem Sterling’s move to Manchester City in his bid to taste success and silverware he felt Liverpool and Rodgers could not deliver. The Englishman has since thrived under Pep Guardiola and it has left many fans pondering what Sterling could have been under Jurgen Klopp.
Rodgers managed 166 games at Liverpool from 1st June 2012 until October 4, 2015, winning 51% of those games. He recorded 85 wins and 42 losses.
The Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard has gone on to say that Rodgers one-to-one management as the best he had ever seen.
“He’s top drawer. He’s very slick on the training ground, he’s a fantastic man manager. He makes you feel good and confident all the time”Steven Gerrard on Brendan Rodgers
Jurgen Klopp was able to play his gengenpressing/heavy metal football almost from the get-go after Rodgers enjoyed a similar attacking style. This allowed the transition from Rodgers to Klopp almost seamless.
Rodgers has said about his style of play: “The football philosophy is very much about positive football.
“If you want to deﬁne it: we like to play attacking creative football but always with a tactical discipline. The template for all of our work is our organisation.”
This style was seen in Klopp’s first and second season before fully integrating Liverpool in to his own brand of football.
Rodgers may not have found himself a winner in terms of silverware at Anfield, but since his Merseyside days he has completed the ‘double-double’ with Celtic. Winning the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup back-to-back in 2016/2017 and 2017/2018.
As Leicester manager his team is exciting, attacking and a joy to watch. Rodgers is still nurturing and coaching players to become better and excel themselves. The likes of James Maddison, Youri Tielemans, Caglar Soyuncu, Harvey Barnes, James Justin and others have benefitted from that one-to-one management style Gerrard has been so impressed with.
Looking back over these seasons and the time Rodgers spent with Liverpool highlight the lessons learnt by FSG and by Jurgen Klopp. Rodgers’ legacy as manager may not go down as one of the most successful in terms of silverware, but without him, perhaps 2019 and 2020 successes would not have been possible.
Rodgers was so close to becoming immortal at Anfield.
Thank you for coming along on this journey with us all at LFCTR, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did writing it. It was a long journey for Rodgers’ Reds but in the end, without him, I personally don’t think the Premier League and Champions League successes would be possible.
As John Lennon said ‘Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end’.
It all worked out okay in the end…
See you on Saturday, Brendan. YNWA.