Before Rodgers came to the Scottish Football League to take over at Celtic, he had a memorable stint at English giants Liverpool. When Rodgers started at Liverpool, he certainly split the opinions of the fans. Many thought that he didn’t have the experience to manage a club of Liverpool’s size, having previously only held a top-level manager role at lowly Swansea.
Rodgers had a tough task at Liverpool, a club built on great success that seems more and more distant as the years go by. He had forged a good reputation as a coach whilst he was youth team coach at Chelsea, and had worked with and learned from some of the best managers in the world, like Jose Mourinho. However, the majority of Liverpool fans wanted a more established name, someone more like their current manager Jurgen Klopp, for example.
Brendan Rodgers soon started to win the fans round when in his second season, he led them to the closest title bid since their last title win back in 1990. With Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge scoring goals for fun, Liverpool fans started to believe that they could win the title that season. Unfortunately for Liverpool and Rodgers, they came up just short that year and lost out to Manchester City. At the time the Premier League odds had started quite far out for Liverpool to win the league that season, so the performances and results that they put in were surprising. Not in the same category of surprise as Leicester winning the title, but still quite unpredicted.
Throughout that season Rodgers won a number of managerial awards, and the future looked bright with fans hoping for Liverpool and Rodgers to go one step further in the following season. The lively character of Luis Suarez then pushed for his move to Barcelona, and the magic of the previous season soon became a distant memory. They went on to finish 6th that year and the doubters started to analyse whether Rodgers was behind that famous charge for the title, or whether the outstanding performances of the now world class star Luis Suarez were the real driving force. Rodgers could never get that level of form back at Liverpool, and was eventually sacked by the club.
The following summer he became Celtic manager, and has led them to surpass the record for the best start to a Scottish premier league season since the war. Rodgers is certainly winning many friends in the green half of Glasgow, but in a league where Celtic have enjoyed the rule of the roost for some time, Rodgers hasn’t really set the footballing world alight with this feat. Although a great record, if he had brought a team up from the lower leagues to do the same, then that would be a seriously great achievement.
It is probably too early to tell whether Rodgers is the real deal, but he is still one of the youngest managers in the game, and will no doubt prove his worth over the next few decades in football management.