BRENDAN RODGERS made a trip to the Old Yard in the heart of Harvard University this week.
The Liverpool manager soaked up the history as he took a stroll around the campus before arriving at the John Harvard statue.
It’s said that rubbing the shiny left foot of the famous monument of the university’s first benefactor brings you good luck and Rodgers didn’t need a second invitation to follow tradition.
“Daniel Agger and I were over at the John Harvard statue and the area around that is such a prestigious and interesting place,” he said.
“It’s the third most visited statue in America after the Statue of Liberty and the one of Abraham Lincoln.
“I was rubbing that foot like mad so let’s hope it pays off!”
A dose of good fortune over the coming months would certainly be handy but having watched Rodgers at close quarters this week it’s clear that nothing is being left to chance.
The Northern Irishman is meticulous and he commands authority on the training ground.
Clipboard in hand, he watches on intently, often bringing a halt to a particular drill to get his point across.
Some managers stand and watch while others coach, not Rodgers.
He makes the plans and delivers them.
It’s been tough for the players in the stifling Boston heat. More ball work than in previous pre-seasons certainly hasn’t meant less perspiration with double sessions on most days.
Of course key personnel have been missing but there’s been a glimpse of the philosophy and model Rodgers is looking to install at Anfield with the help of trusted assistant Colin Pascoe.
There has been plenty of two touch football on wide but narrow pitches with small hockey sized goals at either end.
For the team with the ball, short, sharp passes and intelligent movement to offer an angle are demanded, while for those without the ball it’s gruelling with the constant calls to press and close down the space.
Daniel Pacheco summed it up well when he revealed the manager had said he wanted them to be “embarrassed” if they lost possession.
It’s certainly all change for the goalkeepers, now much more involved with the main group and expected to play as sweepers.
This approach is fresh and new and that’s contributed to a real buzz around the squad.
The decision to bring so many Academy youngster has certainly paid dividends as the enthusiasm and energy they bring to the group is infectious.
Senior players sat up and took notice when Rodgers delivered a rousing speech on the first day of pre-season at Melwood as he set out his plans to take Liverpool forward. Since then respect for him inside the club has only grown as he has backed up his words with deeds.
Away from the pitch and in front of the media, Rodgers speaks with great authority and honesty.
Look at the way he dealt with a question this week about Luis Suarez’s latest outburst about last season’s race row with Patrice Evra.
“I can’t put words into players’ mouths but I can certainly give advice,” he said.
“My advice has been let’s move forward.
“We don’t want to regurgitate it as that certainly doesn’t help you progress.”
The message was clear – what Suarez said was unhelpful but he stopped short of openly criticising the striker.
Similarly, in terms of Andy Carroll’s future, cards have been put on the table.
If Liverpool receive an attractive enough bid then the big frontman will move during the transfer window.
But there’s no sense of battling to push Carroll out the door and loan offers will be rebuffed.
The belief is that Liverpool would be better off banking £20million for him and investing that cash in players more suited to the style Rodgers wants to play.
But if that suitable offer doesn’t arrive then Carroll, who is set to link up with the squad in Boston on Monday, will get the opportunity to show he can adapt and fit into the system.
Rodgers has been up front with him and Carroll knows exactly where he stands.
It’s early days and a ball has yet to be kicked in anger but the signs at the start of a new era for Liverpool are hugely promising.