Brendan Rodgers and the Dashboard Confessional

By Aitch

“Bless me father, for I have (apparently) sinned. It has been 2 months since my last blog entry….”
… and I’m not sure much has really changed.

In that blog, I asked the following 5 questions…
1. What is his brief going forward?
2. What target/goal has he been set by FSG?
3. Under what structure will he be performing?
4. How much will he be given to spend, in order to achieve those goals?
5. Is “wage reduction” still part of that brief? And if so, how big a part?
… and some of you will likely disagree, but I’m hard pressed to provide any kid of detailed answer to any one of those questions 60 days later.

Dirk Kuyt (and his 5 goals) has been sold for the princely sum of 1 million quid.
Maxi Rodriguez (and his 6 goals) has left for the princely sum of Nothing.
Fabio Aurellio and his bones of sand have left… and surprisingly he didn’t fall out of the taxi, or trip on the steps up to the plane, and reports suggest he’s healthy… go figure?

Rumours continue to surround the futures of Andy Carroll, Charlie Adam, Martin Skrtel, Danny Agger, Joe Cole, Alberto Aquailani, and even Jonjo Shelvey.

…with only Fabio Borini signed so far… and deals for Joe Allen and Clint Dempsey rumoured.

We have 3 friendly games under our belt, and from where I was watching they didn’t really serve to tell us much of anything about how we will be playing or how strong we might look going into this season…
… not suprising or indicative of anything, since these are nothing more than public training sessions really, with everyone getting 45 minutes or so…
… some of the kids looked full of promise… while still clearly being well off what could be described as “the premiership pace”…
… some of the established players looked well rusty.
… the only conclusion I would draw, is that the remaining 16 or so days of training are gonna be well needed.

And so we started our season proper today, with an away fixture at Gomel in the “who really gives a shit about that Europa League anyway, its just a meaningless 3rd rate cup competition anyway”…
(says 3 our fathers and 4 hail Marys for momentarily resorting to condescending prickishness)

I’d suggest that by all rights we should probably have lost today?
Gomel were the better team for my money and if they’d not hit the post, then skewed the rebound, then missed the sitter that was presented by that skew… we’d have been 0-1 down just moments before bounding up the other end and taking the lead.
But moments make games… and as much as I argued we were on the unlucky end of such incidents last term, we took our chance… and what a chance it was… and bagged an all important away goal to bring back to Anfield.
(…speaking of Demba Ba-like signings… that freakin Aluminium kid looked the biz?)

The inimitably shite and much derided Stewart Downing scored a 30 yard, Stevie G-like wonderstrike… after being pretty anonymous for 63 minutes… then went straight back into his shell for the remaining 20.
But maybe… just maybe… a goal… an important goal… this early… could be just what the Doctor ordered (he said, mustering all the Oddball from Kelly’s Heroes positive fuckin waves he could muster.)
I did after all argue that the even better strike following a 50 yard run, against Sunderland’s crossbar in last season’s opener didn’t much help his cause, and that maybe if that had gone in, we’d have seen a different Downing.
We await this hoped for transformation… but in the meantime, thanks for the goal.

I’m not sure if Sterling actually looked good after coming on today, or if it was just a case of Gomel having heard he was, and thereby making sure he didn’t hurt them by putting 3 shits on him and fouling him every time the ball was passed to him.
He really didn’t get much of a chance to show his stuff, though he did have one or two neat tricky little runs with the ball.
One thing that has come out of all 4 games so far for me… is that all 4 teams opted for this strategy of mobbing the youngster with multiple defenders whenever he got the ball… which if he’s kept and given games, rather than loaned out… is worth remembering…
…and one strategy might well be… knowing this is how teams will defend against him, means that if there’s 3 fellas marking the kid… 2 other players are unmarked… so get them forward into a space about 10 yards from him as an unmarked target for him to pass to.
Just a thought?

We get a week to train now before the return leg… time to get some fitness in those that have only just returned from their holidays.
We can approach the return leg with the comfort of an away goal, which should see a more open game.

We then have a friendly at home against Leverkusen 3 days later, with 6 days before opening away to West Brom… starting a tough group of fixtures.
… and 28 days of unfounded rumour madness in the transfer window to endure.

I would imagine we’ll all have different degrees of frustration about certain of these rumours… but for my part the one that frustrates me the most is the one regarding Jonjo Shelvey…
… I hope beyond hope that the very notion of exchanging Jonjo Shelvey as part of the “supposed deal” to sign Joe Allen has not even been so much as a passing moment of madness, let alone an actual consideration, and that this idea is the complete fabrication of one of the many media people who really have no right to call themselves journalists.
Time will tell.
Jonjo was quite arguably the best player in the 3 friendly games… and while he is not yet the finished article, I really think this kid is gonna be a terrific player.

So here we go… 1 game, 1 win, 1 unlikely as fuck goal for Stewart Downing…
… and Brendan Rodgers is off to the races with his first win as Liverpool Manager…
… long may that “mini-trend” continue!

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