BRENDAN RODGERS believes Liverpool’s ‘educated’ supporters will appreciate the style of football he is looking to bring to Anfield.
And the Reds boss has revealed he cannot wait to get started in his new job, drawing inspiration from the club’s lengthy list of great players and managers.
Rodgers has been familiarising himself on Merseyside since replacing Kenny Dalglish last month, and welcomes the first part of his squad back for pre-season training at Melwood today.
The former Swansea boss has spoken in detail about the kind of footballing philosophy he will seek to implement at Anfield, and says that the patient nature of Liverpool’s supporters was a major factor in his decision to move to the club.
“That was key for me,” Rodgers said. “If I was to leave Swansea, and I was in no rush to do so, then it had to be the right move.
“(Swansea) understood that way. They understood, because they are educated in football. I think they are much like Liverpool supporters in that sense.
“You look at the teams from the 1980s, and if they passed the ball backwards to keep possession, (the fans) applauded, because they are educated and they understand.
“In that sense, it is the perfect club for me.”
He added: “It is inspiring. This is a real footballing institution. I walk in every day to the training ground here and you’ve got the European Cup, a little bust of Bill Shankly, and as I sit in my office I’ve got a great photograph of some of the great players and managers of the past.
“For me, I embrace that because it is very inspirational and in no way intimidating. I’m just looking forward to playing a part in hopefully changing the history of the club.”
Rodgers has spoken in the past of how his managerial style has been heavily influenced by the work of the Spanish national team, and admits he was as impressed as anyone by the manner in which Vicente Del Bosque’s side retained their European Championship crown last week.
Rodgers also revealed that Del Bosque’s controversial ‘striker-less’ system was something he himself had considered with Swansea last season.
“It’s something I looked at last year,” he said. “It is all about having penetration. Possession is no good on its own.
“You look at the goals Spain scored in the final. The first goal, (Cesc) Fabregas received a pass in behind to set (David) Silva up, the second goal was all about penetration from the left-back, and the third came from winning the ball back early in the transition, enabling (Fernando) Torres to score.
“It is easy to pinpoint when you play with a striker, but you can see with Spain, and with Barcelona with (Lionel) Messi, that it (having no striker) works. It is all about what you do with the ball, and the penetration you have.”
Rodgers revealed earlier this week that he hoped to bring in “three or four” players to improve his squad, and that he was looking to tie top scorer Luis Suarez down to a new long-term contract.
And he says his main focus this season will be building upon the work done by his predecessor Dalglish over the past 18 months.
“I think if you look at the record here last season, Kenny was very unlucky,” he added. “So many games they dominated but failed to hit the net, and actually defensively they were reasonably strong.
“So it’s just a case of trying to improve on what’s happened in the last couple of years, and giving the players confidence ultimately to go and win games.”