Following the news that Brendan Rodgers today signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool; the club knows that it may have secured its most important signing of this summer.
Brendan Rodgers is held in very high regard by the club’s owners FSG, and it was important that they tied the young Northern Irishman down to a new ‘long-term’ deal, so he could build on the extremely successful 2013-14 season, which saw Manchester City narrowly pip them to the Premier League title, but more importantly, secure Champions League football for Liverpool for the first time since 2009. It was well documented before the start of the season that Rodgers’ aim was to achieve a top four place, but even he will be surprised by their fantastic season.
To many, they were nailed on for a first top division title since 1990 when they beat City at Anfield 3-2 in April, but a subsequent 2-0 defeat to Chelsea at Anfield and a 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace, City were able to steal a march on the Merseyside club, and left Liverpool two points behind after their final day 2-0 victory over West Ham at the Etihad. However, it was Liverpool’s swashbuckling approach to their matches that impressed many, focusing solely on attack, and hoping that an average defence was able to keep out less than they’d scored. This was epitomised by Liverpool’s 3-3 draw with Palace at Selhurst Park; Liverpool had raced into a 3-0 lead before the hour, an they tried to overhaul the nine goal advantage City had over them, and conceded three late goals to draw. This could be seen as naivety on Rodgers’ part, but the lack of control Liverpool had on the game was worrying, and it looked like the title pressure had got to Liverpool, and they’d cracked.
Liverpool and Rodgers will be better for the experience of this season if they find themselves in a similar situation again come May next year; and with much of the talk in the close season of Liverpool strengthening defensively, with the likes of Emre Can, Alberto Moreno, Ashley Cole and Marcos Rojo being linked, keeping Brendan Rodgers ensures Liverpool carry great momentum through to next season, and if he can work wonders with the likes of Sterling, Henderson, Gerrard, Suarez and Coutinho again, Liverpool may well be Premier League champions for the first time.
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