Brendan Rodgers’ new deal signals bright Liverpool future

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The Reds’ boss this week signed a new long-term contract at the club, keeping him at Anfield until 2018.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 11, 2014: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers after the final game of the season, a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United, during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The Northern Irishman has been rewarded for the impressive transformation of the playing side in his first two years at the club, which includes guiding the Reds to an outstanding second-place finish in the Premier League this season.

Modern day football is a cut-throat business, with managers constantly on the verge of being sacked by ruthless owners. Rodgers’ relationship with principal owner John W. Henry feels different, however, and his new four-year deal outlines the faith that the 64-year-old American has in him.

It brings great stability to the club, and allows them to simply focus on matters on the pitch rather than dramas off it. Fenway Sports Group firmly believes Rodgers is the man to make Liverpool the best team in the country again.

It couldn’t be any different from the Rafa Benitez era at Anfield. The Spaniard was not supported by the owners at the time, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, and it hurt the club badly.

“For five years I had been a football manager at Liverpool. By the start of my sixth, it was clear I had become something else entirely. I was suddenly supposed to be a bank manager,” wrote Benitez in his book ‘Champions League Dreams’.

“Decisions were being made to appease the banks, not the fans. That is how serious the situation with the owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett, had become.

“Attempting to work in the transfer market that summer was almost impossible.”

BOLTON, ENGLAND - SUNDAY AUGUST 29th 2004: Liverpool's manager Rafael Benitez before the match against Bolton during the Premiership match at the Reebok Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Benitez had the opportunity to make Liverpool great again, after a hugely promising 2008/09 season and a number of years as one of the most respected sides in the Champions League, but he was thwarted in his efforts.

There appears to be a total contrast in the relationship between Rodgers and the current owners, and this summer he needs as much support as possible. It appears he’s getting it.

How do Liverpool build on this season?

The 2013/14 campaign was undoubtedly a brilliant one for anyone associated with Liverpool Football Club. A top four finish and to achieve Champions League qualification was the aim and The Reds delivered that and more.

To end up with a chance of winning the league on the final day, the first time in Liverpool’s Premier League history, was beyond expectations. Not only that, but the quality of football and sheer entertainment value provided was an absolute joy to watch.

BANGKOK, THAILAND - Friday, July 26, 2013: Liverpool's manager Brendan Rodgers during a press conference at the Plaza Athenee Hotel ahead of their preseason friendly match against Thailand. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The last 12 months’ exploits must be built upon though, and this summer is the most important for many years at the club in terms of transfer activity.

Champions League football will return for the first time in five years, and the club simply have to ensure they remain a fixture in Europe’s elite club competition – especially as the TV revenue increases as such for participants in 2015/16.

With Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and a wounded Manchester United all strengthening too it’s far from easy, admittedly, but the fact they have an outstanding young manager, some superb young players and some world-class experienced stars means the foundations are perfectly set in place.

The wrong thing to do would be to assume that the Premier League title should be won next season. Although that is now far from unrealistic, given last season’s exploits, Liverpool are still a little short of City and Chelsea.

The Champions League will mean that the Reds are playing twice a week most of the time next season- a huge benefit last season was the week-long breaks between matches, allowing freshness within the squad- and Rodgers’ rotation policy will be tested far more. This is why the transfer window is so huge this summer.

For now, the top four should still be the realistic primary aim, and a cup triumph now and then, with a title charge possible rather than probable. Assuming the team keeps improving under Rodgers, which I have total faith it will, there is no reason why they can’t be top of the pile regularly within the next three or four years.

Rodgers

Rodgers has united the football club and it’s fanbase after a fractured and turbulent time in the club’s history. Eighth to second in his first two seasons, his first appointment at a high profile club, is an impressive achivement.

The hope is that this is just the start and that the 41-year-old is building something really special at Liverpool. The owners certainly believe he is.

Do you think Brendan Rodgers will bring the glory days back to Anfield? Let us know in the comments section below.

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