IT’S the manifesto which carried Brendan Rodgers into Anfield. Liverpool’s owners were already confident they had found the right man for the job prior to holding talks with Rodgers in May. His references had been glowing and they had admired his achievements at Swansea City.
But their belief is his ability to transform the Reds’ fortunes was cemented by that initial meeting when the Northern Irishman presented them with a bulging 180-page document.
It was a hugely detailed blueprint for Liverpool’s future. It set out his vision and his philosophy. It explained how he works and what was required to put the club back challenging at the top of the English game.
The more principal owner John W Henry and chairman Tom Werner read, the more they were convinced. Plans to appoint a sporting director were shelved as Rodgers was handed total control to put his plans into action.
“I presented to them a document on the culture, philosophy and game plan going forward,” said Rodgers.
“It’s a model, a short cut to how I work, the kind of players I want tactically and the personality traits of players. Also my thoughts on the Academy and how we move forward.
“The vision is simple. Firstly, to win the most trophies we can. That’s the bigger picture.
“The second is to play attractive, attacking football to win games. The third is to bring through as many of the young players as we possibly can.
“When I became a manager I always wanted to go into a club with a philosophy so it’s clear in terms of where everyone is heading. Thankfully at two of my three clubs as manager I’ve been able to create a one-club mentality and it’s been successful.
“I started this (document) over 15 years ago. It’s something I have been piecing together for many years and when I became a manager I put it into a format with a philosophy and methodology.”
In Liverpool’s opening two friendlies there have already been signs of Rodgers’ influence but this is a long-term project he has taken on. The manager doesn’t have either the time or the cash this summer to make all the changes that are required.
The 39-year-old took some admiring glances at the depth of Tottenham’s squad as the teams trained at Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium yesterday ahead of today’s final game of the Reds’ North American tour.
“My single biggest concern for this year is to define a model of play that can entertain the supporters and win games, to build a squad that will allow us to compete in all the competitions,” he said.
“It took Tottenham six transfer windows to put together a squad that could finish in the top four. In the last three years, we’ve finished sixth, seventh and eighth. My job is improve on that without being disrespectful to anyone who went before me, to get the club back into the top echelons where it has not been for a few years.
“For me football is an art not a science. The only statistic I want to know is how good we have been with the ball. In my cultural upbringing, on my travels, the statistic that interested me was if you were better than your opponent with the football you have a 79% chance of winning the game.
“Basically, you have an eight out of 10 chance of winning, so I’ve followed that my career. Of course you may lose the ninth or tenth, but my world has been devoted to that.
“It won’t always be perfect and you won’t always play well, but I would rather control games and dominate games and have that possibility rather than wait for something to happen.
“My world has been about creating rather than waiting. If you wait, you rely on somebody else to make a mistake. If you create you do everything possible to win the game. I’d rather lose a game trying to win it than lose it trying to not get beat.”
While there’s excitement and hope among supporters at the start of a new era, Rodgers is keen to ensure there’s also a sense of reality.
It’s 22 years since the club’s last title triumph and over the past two decades it’s not just Manchester United who have left Liverpool trailing.
“There are many more teams to knock off the perch now,” said Rodgers.
“This is a club that has won 18 league titles and the ambition is to make sure we are in a position to add a few more. But I know where the club is at this moment and I don’t want to be talking too much garbage at the beginning of my time here.
“We need to become competitive before you can even consider (going for the title). It is like getting knocked out of the FA Cup every year in the first or second round but then saying you are going to win it. We have just got to make sure that we stabilise.
“The last couple of years have been traumatic in many ways, on and off the field.
“In order to have success, there has to be some kind of stability and then we can grow. I am not waiting for it. I want us to try and create success and create it as quick as we can.
“I could give you a list of problems but it won’t help anything. We have to find a way to go forward and challenge again.
“I’ve been touched by how supportive everyone has been and the players have been magnificent. I just want to turn that positivity into something good.
“We need a one city, one club mentality. If we don’t, if we fail, it will be because of not sticking together and nothing else. If we can stay as one, we have a real chance.”