Up until last nights rousing performance, with the previous loss to West Brom followed up by the first leg loss to Zenit St Petersburg, there had been an increase in the amount of questions being asked of Brendan Rodgers. What quality of manager was he? Was he too open with the media? Was he the man to bring us forward? All perhaps were valid questions.
Many times this season, we have seemed to be on the verge of making great progress - our build up play, the number of chance created, the attractiveness of our football, all seem to point to an upward curve and reasons to be optimistic. This invariably is followed by results and performances like those like at Stoke, Aston Villa and the afore-mentioned West Brom game.
Now, Rodgers is a man who's primary experience is in coaching, he served fantastically in that role at Chelsea and seems to be held in very high regard by Jose Mourinho. Which to be fair, is a tremendous endorsement. He seems to have an eye for detail which no doubt was absolutely fantastic for that type of role. One only needs to watch his briefings with fan groups to know he still has that incredible eye for detail.
I guess maybe you could argue thats why he is so known for speaking too openly with the media - he sees the little details and is fascinated by them, and so, discusses them openly. I wonder though, if it is this kind of trait is one which is most associated with coaches rather than managers? The great managers over the past ten years, the likes of Mourinho, Guardiola, and yes, grudgingly I'll admit, Ferguson, never seem to be as interested in the why or the how of why they won or lost, only the result mattered to them.
I can recall Ferguson after losing to us 4-1 saying something to the effect that he was going to crawl under his blanket for the weekend. No tactical analysis, no discussion of why they lost, he simply said they did not play well enough and needed to do better. As silly as that may sound, I'm pretty sure they went on to win the league that year. There was no break down of why they were hammered so badly by us, no grabbing of fingers to highlight why their midfield fell apart. There was just the simple acknowledgement that they were beaten thoroughly on the day. I'm pretty certain the players would have been let know in no uncertain terms that their performance that day was not good enough. That they didn't perform to a level that was expected of them, and that would have been enough from the manager... and then the coach would have stepped in and would have told them why their performance wasn't good enough.
And I guess thats where I'm going with this – Rodgers seems like a man driven by the need to know why. Why we won, why we drew, why we lost. It seems to me, we need to see less of him being the smartest guy in the room - thats the coaches job. What he needs to be is a candle-bearer, a protector of the flame of what is considered good enough and not good enough for this club. After a loss, I would much rather hear him say he is disappointed and that we were not good enough rather than try and explain why we lost - a loss should not be considered acceptable for this club, no matter what the conditions.
Overall, I'm optimistic that we are going in a good direction and that Brendan Rodgers is a man who will be humble enough and intelligent enough to realize that he will need to learn some lessons from this season. I'm liking our forward line at the moment and feel that steel will come with experience, we just need a manager that will manage - not coach.
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