Rodgers outlines long term objectives at Liverpool

In part two of an interesting interview with Yahoo!, manager Brendan Rodgers discusses Luis Suarez, Jamie Carragher’s retirement and the need for stadium redevelopment at Anfield.

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Is Luis Suarez the most talented player you have ever worked with?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with lots of really good players so it would be disrespectful to single out the best. What I am sure of though, is his warrior spirit and I love his humility, work rate, attitude to training and his desire to be a winner.

He has a real determination and commitment to do well for Liverpool and that side of his game certainly puts him up there with the very best I’ve worked with. He is definitely one of the most naturally talented and mentally strong players I have ever worked with.

Has he impressed enough to win the PFA player of the year award and do you think he will?

He will certainly be in the reckoning. His league goals alone should put him in with a great shout but you also need to look at his consistency throughout the season that makes him arguably the best player.

There are other contenders of course; players like Gareth Bale have been outstanding for Tottenham for example, but I think that Luis’ consistency and the impact he has had for us this season means that he would be my candidate to win.

Suarez isn’t always popular with opposing players and fans, is that something he can channel and turn into a positive?

I know what it was like when I faced him as an opposing manager, I always viewed him as a pest around the penalty area and you know that players like that usually have the quality to score at any give time. When you know him as a person and as a man like we do here, you can see why so many people love him.

It’s not his job to be liked, he’ll be respected because he’s a top football player and it won’t concern him too much if people don’t like him. He is a player who has great humility, I see the guy everyday and I’ve worked with hundreds of junior and senior players and he is one of the most likable, most humble people I’ve come across.

He is also a multi-talented footballer who has shown that he is at a world class level now. The likability of any player is always up for debate, and people will always use their own moral compass to judge Luis Suarez, but that’s not something I tend to focus on. I concentrate on what he is like with me on a day-to-day basis and he is a great man.

Could you argue that this has been Steve Gerrard’s best in terms of consistency and leadership?

It’s been his best season in relation to the number of games he’s played – he has played every minute of every game for us this season, and as a leader of the team he has been immense. It has been a real privilege to work with someone of that calibre and quality. Again, the mark of the man is that he is a very humble guy. This season he has scored goals, created chances, is still an international captain and at 32 still has the hunger, drive and determination to be better. He’s had an outstanding season and I’m sure he’ll continue to get better over the coming seasons.

Jamie Carragher retires at the end of the season, how big a loss will he be not only on the paying side but also in the dressing room?

He’ll be a big loss because of the length of time he has been at the club. It’s very difficult to say that a player is irreplaceable because the nature of football means that someone always steps in to take the shirt and provides different elements to your team.

I will miss Jamie’s drive and determination that he has shown since I’ve been here, and I know that is something he has been doing all his life. We’re going to miss his character but that’s our job, as a club, to look to try and replace him. Jamie will continue to perform until the end of the season with the same drive and determination he has displayed through his entire career, even at 35-years-old he is still performing at the very top level.

How important is the redevelopment of Anfield to the clubs future ability to compete financially?

We have two main objectives; one is to arrive into the top four and the second is the redevelopment of Anfield. That will make us a bigger club financially and help us to compete more; we have to keep building towards that.

The clubs that are competing in the Champions League have a big advantage financially, an extra forty million pounds a year and more. That’s a huge advantage in respect of bringing in new players and we have to keep aiming for that goal. If we can do that by the redevelopment of Anfield, aligned with top four football, we will be in a great position as a club.

You seem to be taking a long term approach to this job. Can you imagine yourself being here in ten years and where do you imagine Liverpool being by then?

I was asked to come in and build the club over the long term. I’m fully aware however, in the short term you need to produce results. Of course this is a club I would love to be at for a long period of time because it is one of the few institutions in football.

This is very much a destination for me as a manager but I have got to show improvements in the club on a yearly basis. Of course I would love to be here long term, but obviously you have to take care of the short term and show that development. I think we have showed that progression this year and I hope we can make more strides next year and keep the club moving forward.

Read part one of this interview here

For more insight from Brendan Rodgers and other leading managers plus exclusive Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

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  • rodgers supporter

    rodgers has my vote!
    YNWA

    • http://twitter.com/StevieGred Vimal

      Not mine

      Benitez back

    • saraceninc

      Sorry, but vote for what exactly? For being a struggling 7th? For no trophies? For buying Borini and Allen or loaning in Sahin for a few weeks? Sturridge? The guy came to the boil twice and since has been almost in a fottbaling coma/ If that is what we are voting for, then…. ?

  • saraceninc

    Forget about all the grand strategy for years to come, today we can’t even beat West Ham !!!!!

    • junior galtieri

      I get the impression BR would be more than satisfied with finishing 7th every season and it’s this that makes me doubt that he’s the right man to take Liverpool forward

      Liverpool fans have gone from being the most knowledgeable in the game to the most gullible

      • http://twitter.com/StevieGred Vimal

        Yes Liverpool fans might the the most Patient and most Knowledgeable fans in football but backing the Manager is done when we believe he is the right person to take us forward.

        The right person sorry to say neither was Hodgson nor is BR hence they both were accepted very apprehensively and BR is only enjoying the EASY ride because LFC fans have got used to mediocrity on the pitch for last 3 season and the owners and PR team the done well to cool off FANS AMBITIONS….

        But the question for how long the fans will keep mum…..

        I hope not long …..

        • saraceninc

          Agree, if the fans keep supporting blindly then mediocrity is all that is acheived. Do you realise soon the gap between Man Utd and us will be 40 points !!! disgusting, and they are telling me about the future!

        • rednz

          I agree entirely. But further to BR being useless to the point we should be getting rid of him, what about those around him who have hired him. They dont care so long as they have a job, forget European football, forget the trophies, so long as they have there jobs the fans miss out on the trophies and being at the top where they should be, sack BR and get on with very good football on the pitch

        • junior galtieri

          ‘BR is only enjoying the EASY
          ride because LFC fans have got used to mediocrity on the pitch for last 3
          season and the owners and PR team the done well to cool off FANS
          AMBITIONS.’

          Excellent point

          Fans were quick to boo the team off Anfield whenever Rafa’s team dropped pts there – espewcially so following the draws that cost us the title during the 2008-09 season – and yet Rodgers gets applause regardless of the result

          Rafa had won two titles with Valencia whereas Rodgers wasn’t good enough for Watford or Reading – yet Liverpool – once known for their knowledge, now known for their cluelessness – seem to think that he’s the best manager ever just because he knows how to speak to the press

          Forget the fact that we trail Merseyside rivals Everton in the league who have spent a fraction of what we have over the last decade or so. Forget the fact that we got knocked of all three cup competitions by weaker teams than us (Oldham, Swansea and Petersberg) and forget the fact we’ve been so sh*t this season we look likely to lose the only world class player we have?

          Is it any wonder Liverpool fans are the laughing stocks of the Premier League

          Rodgers first has been shockingly poor. The only thing more shocking is that our dim-witted fans think this is great

          • Ross

            Probably the finest comment I have read this season.

      • saraceninc

        Sound right to me

    • http://twitter.com/Oli_Higgs Oli Higgs

      Are you trying to say you see no improvement from last season?

  • tommygun

    I’m happy to hear repeated comments in recent months about how looking to the long term is fine – but you have to take care of the short term. That’s exactly right. I disagree with the owners fixation on under 23 players. Looking forwards is laudable, and if you can snap up a player who will become top drawer quality when they are young and get them for a good price it makes sense, and of course we especially like to see lads stepping up from the academy and proving their worth in the first team. That said the best approach is a balanced approach & taking care of the here and now is vital. So the owners should be prepared to back moves for players who have the quality and experience we need now in order to improve the team in the present to short term.

    If you base everything on 3,4,5,6 years down the line in terms of recruitment there is the risk that you will struggle in the short to medium term while young players are developing their ability and gaining vital experience. The problem there is that top players want to be challenging for silverware, they want to be playing in the CL, and if they are not…….eventually their patience will evaporate and they will stop believing that they can do those things with the club, stop believing that they can fulfill their ambitions at Liverpool, and then you lose them. And the task at hand becomes that much more difficult. The benefits of having seasoned pro’s, players of proven quality and experience in a team are self explanatory. As well as the obvious benefits on the pitch young players can learn from them, not just playing wise, but also in terms of mentality, what it takes to succeed at the top, the professionalism that is needed, they act as mentors and role models.

    I would be lying if I said I was happy with this season. There have been spells of the team playing exciting, incisive, quality football. Those spells have proved short lived though and have been seperated by periods of galling inconsistency. The aforementioned balls up of last summers transfer dealings cost us precious points & I don’t doubt we would have been much better off in the league if the club hadn’t failed to bring in a goal scorer of decent experience during the summer. I amended my expectations for this season because of the issues we’ve had lately, because of the wage bill being slashed, because of the summer dealings, because of having yet another new manager with a new set of ideas to implement. But we will all rightfully expect more of the club next season.

    I’ve rarely had an issue with what brendan say’s and I am still behind him, we won’t get anywhere by constantly sacking managers unless they provide instant success in their first season. So he should be given time, I can see what he’s trying to do. He’s made mistakes, like last summer when he spent £30 odd million without bringing in a goal scorer with a decent level of experience that everyone knew we needed. The owners rightfully copped flak over the dempsey issue, but BR had already had enough money to adress the issue and didn’t. Unless he felt that Borini would solve that problem in his first season – in which case he got it very wrong. I also strongly disagree with his insistance on having no plan B. Or rather in his words plan B is making plan A better. The great Liverpool teams were not one trick pony’s they played sublime passing football, but if that wasn’t going to plan, they were capable of digging deep, of rough housing with the biggest and baddest out there, of playing a more forceful direct game. Football is not a one size fits all game. Sometimes a different approach is needed, and that was true of our great teams of the past…..and those teams were possessed of a far greater level of talent than we currently boast.

    I said in another post I will back him while I can see progress. I have seen progress in certain areas this season, and Rodgers will have to keep delivering that progress. Next season people will expect more. So I will cross my fingers and hope we see the arrival of 4 players of genuine current talent, experience, hunger, and grit this summer. I will hope that the experiences of this season and having a season of Rodgers ideas under their belts will stand our current players in good stead, that next season progress will continue, that the team will kick on, and that we can enjoy more quality football, much less inconsistency, and ultimately enjoy a season of real tangible success.

  • saraceninc

    This is all nonsense, too much planning and too little performance, come on guys the pathetic performance this season has broken all records, even this miserable draw against West Ham. We are nowhere other than a struggling 7th despite sturridge, Allen, Coutinhou, Borrini. Nice guy BR, but otherwise struggling to manage a big club with a big history and ego. Each year our expectations are shattered, at least last year we had that pathetic Carlington cup to jump around about!

    • Butragenio

      agreed totally

  • Butragenio

    This guy wouldnt recognise talent from a lemon! He brought in Allen for godsake! Brenda is just lucky Liverpool still have Suarez. Otherwise we would be battling relegation!

    • Saraceninc

      Definitely, if not for Suarez we would be leading the cahrge for relegation and the sad thing is BR would still be saying they were fantastic! hey this guy is really mixed up!

  • saraceninc

    Hey waht happened to the West Ham report ? Probably editor gave up the chase too, I guess there are no excuses left, other than BR stating that we controlled 65% and his team were magnificent and cannot expect more, then God Help us all !!!