Things have been pretty frantic around Anfield since it was confirmed Kenny Dalglish was getting the ‘thanks, but no thanks’ treatment for winning the Carling Cup. Not at all going along with the ‘who’s hot right now’ tactic that resulted in Roy Hodgson arriving at Anfield, the Reds opted for Brendan Rodgers, the Swansea manager who just happened to be so hot right now. Since then, it’s been feverish speculation about who the new boss would bring in, feverish speculation about why the new boss hasn’t brought anyone in and more recently, more feverish speculation about the speculation. Rodgers has already indicated he won’t be going all ‘Chelsea’ with the new signings, but has admitted the club are working on a few deals before the transfer window shuts. If Andy Carroll is allowed leave, temporarily or otherwise, they’ll need major reinforcements up front.
Something to be positive about
Liverpool have appointed a young manager with a clear style of football he wants. Some of the performances last season showed there’s plenty of talent in the Liverpool squad and if he can get the players buying into his vision, they should easily improve on last season’s scrapping it out with Fulham for eighth.
Something to be a bit worried about
As much as Rodgers impressed by getting a small club into the Premier League and then keeping them there for a season, that’s also something Paul Jewell achieved and he hasn’t exactly a managerial messiah. Like the Hodgson era, it may just turn out that Rodgers isn’t cut out for a job of Liverpool proportions and that pretty much catapults Liverpool right back to the position they were when Graeme Souness was in charge. If it’s another season of stagnation at Anfield, the club’s crown jewels will be throwing flirty glances in the direction of the Etihad, Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge, and further afield and that even a mini-exodus would make the next few seasons very difficult.
An optimistic season bet
In fairness, Rodgers did work wonders with Swansea. With a bigger squad and theoretically better players they could make a marked improvement. That’s unlikely to translate into their first league title in 23 years, but backing Liverpool +18 points at 16/1 on the Premier League Handicap could be the way to go.
A more realistic season bet
The club have said that Rodgers doesn’t have to provide Champions League football to keep his job, but everyone knows it would definitely help. If Arsenal and Spurs were relieved of a talisman each, that job could become slightly easier and 21/10 Liverpool to finish in the Top 4 wouldn’t be out of the question.
Fabio Borini (Roma, £10m)
Joe Allen (Swansea, £15m)
Oussama Assaidi (Heerenveen, £3m)
Packing their bags
Dirk Kuyt (Fenerbache, £1m)
Fabio Aurelio (Gremio, free)
DavidAmoo (Preston North End, free)
Stephen Darby (released)
Maxi Rodriguez (Newell’s Old Boys, undisclosed)