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Brendan Rodgers and Tika-Taka - How will Liverpool adapt?

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Having sealed a move to Liverpool F.C based on his tika-taka principles, Brendan Rodgers must now look to incorporate the style of play that was so successful at Swansea on to his newly acquired crop of players. It will be interesting to see how he’ll adapt his system to accommodate for certain players in the Liverpool squad that would seem unsuitable for the style of play he’s after, in particular Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll.

In this thread I’ll look to provide a break-down of Rodgers’s philosophy at Swansea alongside how it might look at Liverpool.

Since making their step-up to the elite level, Swansea’s philosophy of the now infamous Tika-Taka style has captured plaudits for their sheer determination of sticking to a style of play. It was a bold gamble to try and take on better-quality clubs and to try to out pass them but it was a gamble that paid-off, earning them an 11th placed league finish come the end of the season – a finish which is mightily impressive for a side that came up through the play-offs. All of which was earned through the tika-taka style which began under Roberto Martinez, continued under Paulo Sousa and finely-tuned under Brendan Rodgers. The baton is now passed on to the hands of Michael Laudrup, an avid admirer of possession football and a fine fit to continue Swansea’s passing philosophy.

Swansea – Tactical Breakdown

Brendan Rodgers’s approach to possession football at Swansea was about pragmatism first and foremost and about playing attractive, flairy football second. It was about using the ball as a defensive weapon - a mentality of “If we have the ball, you can’t score”. There was a clear structure as to what he wanted his players to do and where he wanted his players to be. The build-up of play was considered, well-thought out and avoided risk. The idea was to rest with the ball, create angles for passes and to dominate the opposition through possession.

“I like to control games. I like to be responsible for our own destiny. If you are better than your opponent with the ball you have a 79 per cent chance of winning the game…for me it is quite logical. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, if you don’t have the ball you can’t score.” - Brendan Rodgers

The other key aspect of possession football involves intense pressure to win the ball back from the opposition.

“The only time we rest is when we have the ball. When we haven’t got the ball is the moment for intense pressure to get the ball back. But you can’t go for 90 minutes, so in order to recuperate and conserve energy; we’ll do that sometimes by building our way through the game.” - Brendan Rodgers

A in-depth look at Brendan Rodgers’s philosophy is fantastically outlined here.

Formation 1

In the beginning of the 2011-2012 Premier League season, Swansea pre-dominantly favoured a 4-3-3 system. It consisted of Leon Britton as a defensive anchor with Joe Allen and Mark Gower in support roles. The full-backs were encouraged forward while the wide men and the forward were given attack roles.

swanseaformation1.jpg

Formation 2

With the arrival of Glyfi Sigurdsson on loan from Hoffenheim, Rodgers tweaked his shape to more of a 4-2-3-1. Britton still operated very deep but was now in more of a 2-man midfield alongside Joe Allen. This shape allowed the attacking threat that Sigurdsson possessed to flourish.

swanseafomation2.jpg

Swansea – Tactical Settings

Implementing the tika-taka style into FM is fairly easy to do once you understand the concepts of the Tactics Creator. There isn’t a great deal of manual adjustment to tactical sliders needed if you make good use of roles and touchline shouts.

Like Pep Guardiola, there are many aspects of Rodgers’s philosophy that are similar to the former Barca coach as outlined by wwfan here.

swanseateaminstructions.jpg

Philosophy (Balanced) – Like it mentions in the TC, a balanced philosophy aims to bring a balance between the movement of players within the system and keeping its shape. A perfect description of what Rodgers was after.

Strategy (Counter) - For tika-taka football and possession football in general, lower mentality systems work better. The idea is to not force the players into playing aggressive football; the key is about patience and to create chances of quality rather than quantity.

Creative Freedom (More Disciplined) – As mentioned earlier, Rodgers used possession as a defensive tool first and foremost. His players were instructed to follow a strict tactical plan and tactical discipline was important to him.

Roaming (Stick to Position) – Swansea looked to work the ball methodically through various channels and the players knew the location of where they should receive the ball.

Width – The width is increased slightly as Rodgers liked his wide men to try and stretch the opposition. I didn’t go too wide as that would sometimes isolate them from joining up through the middle.

Counter-attack – I altered this to un-ticked so that the team would favour building possession rather than going for a direct attack.

Playmaker – I also left this un-ticked as there wasn’t necessarily a player that dictated the play. It was more about working the ball around as a unit.

Shouts

The shouts that help encourage possession within this tactic are:

• Play out of defence

• Pass to feet

• Work ball into box

• Play through defence

• Hassle opponents

With the use of these shouts there wasn’t much I needed to alter myself. The only thing I altered dramatically was the use of through-ball instruction.

swanseainstructions.jpg

Additional information

• It’s important that the goalkeeper is set to defender collect with a centre-back or a full-back instructed to come deep to collect so that possession can be built out of defence.

• For the full-backs, I lowered their crossing to mixed and for it be from the by-line so that they favour passing to a team-mate more.

• The hassle opponent shout along with a high defensive line and offside trap is only used against similarly ranked opposition. It would be slightly irrational for this approach to be used against teams of much better quality.

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How Rodgers’s tika-taka system might look with Liverpool.

Having watched the games in full-match replay, I'm reasonably happy with how the approach has translated into FM as Liverpool.

liverpoolresults.jpg

5 clean sheets out of 8 along with an average of 58% of possession are the plus points so far. It ties in with Rodgers's theme of "If the opponents don't have the ball, they can't score." Defensively, we have been terrific at reducing the opponents number of shots down through possession and keeping the ball. Offensively, we have been okay but we haven't set anything alight. Usually, the players with the most amount of passes is the DM and the back four but that was also the case with Rodgers at Swansea.

The only truly disappointing performance has been the 1-1 draw against Mallorca. They sat deep, we bossed possession but we couldn't find a way of breaking them down and they ended up nicking an equaliser (something Furiousuk predicted would happen). You may be wondering about the two defeats against Chelsea and Man City but those games were extremely even and even though we didn't dominate possession (I didn't expect us to), we did well enough to earn a better outcome. If I had better quality players in certain positions, I feel we could've won those games.

liverpoolinstructions.jpg

Having experimented with numerous combinations of players, I feel that this is best set-up to suit Rodgers's style. Suarez can be a dangerous inside forward, Borini is a lethal finsher and Gerrard can work as a deep-lying playmaker. I prefer Joe Cole over Bellamy and Downing because of his 15+ stats in dribbling, technique, first touch, passing, work rate, decisions, acceleration and agility, as well as the PPMs of "Comes deep to collect ball" and "Cuts inside". Henderson works better as a box-to-box midfielder alongside Gerrard than Adam does as a advanced playmaker.

Alterations I've made from the style at Swansea include more roaming as well as much CF for Gerrard and Saurez and normal CF for Agger and Lucas. Everything else has been left default.

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Looking forward to this as a Liverpool fan :).

Then you'll be pleased to know it's a Utd fan writing this :p

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Then you'll be pleased to know it's a Utd fan writing this :p

Oh for God sake!!! I will keep my mouth shut next time.

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Despite you being a United fan, I trust you'll try not to show any biased towards Liverpool.

Very good start, interested to see where you go from here.

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Despite you being a United fan, I trust you'll try not to show any biased towards Liverpool.

Very good start, interested to see where you go from here.

Don't worry about that :lol:

Rodgers has left me intrigued about Liverpool this season.

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Don't worry about that :lol:

Rodgers has left me intrigued about Liverpool this season.

I think he's left a lot of people intrigued.

Not sure I agree with your comment about Stevie G, as he was a lot more reserved and disciplined for England at the Euro's, which suggests he can play that way

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"It will be interesting to see how he’ll adapt his system to accommodate for certain players in the Liverpool squad that would seem unsuitable for the style of play he’s after, in particular Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll."

Steven Gerrard has, or had a particular style of play I'd suggest. When you think of Andrea Pirlo you think of a metronomic passing maestro, a conductor of a midfield, conversely when looking to categorise Gerrard into similar terms you'd suggest him to be a powerful driving force in midfield, an all-action box-to-box midfielder, a player that is always at 100mph everywhere (and all I can think of is Jeremy Clarkson shouting "POWERRR"); in no way disrespectful but a different style of midfield to more cultured players of similar ages in Xavi, Pirlo, Xabi Alonso. A style I believe that has gone hand in hand in catapulting him to such cult status from such a young age (my first memory of him being that screamer against the Germans in 2001!), and has allowed him to step up and be counted and provide such memorable moments that he has done throughout his career.

I think it's obvious to see that this sort of all action, 100mph everywhere sort of player isn't going to fit into a more methodical approach isn't going to slot right in to a Brendan Rodger's system - but that's not to say that he can be an incredible addition to such a side. To say Steven Gerrard is unsuitable doesn't ring sense to me; after all he's an incredibly gifted midfielder, so much more so than many peers could have ever dreamed of reaching. Let's face it, Gerrard isn't going to be able to carry on this combative box-to-box role for ever, certainly not into his mid-to-late 30s. There will come a stage where he will have to redefine his style of play, much as Paul Scholes has done - and this could easily happen under Brendan Rodgers. To think he will use Gerrard in a Leon Britton deep role would take too much away from his game, and certainly wouldn't happen - but it isn't beyond Gerrard's tactical capabilities to be asked to reign in such attacking natures; to ask him to be more reserved in his passing, for the greater good of the system.

Andy Carroll will be a different situation, he's most threatening offensively when he can throw himself at a ball in the box, or reign supreme in ariel encounters with defenders - something that isn't necessarily going to happen too often with Rodgers. Pheraps Carroll doesn't have the necessary technical abilities or awareness to thrive in this sort of system; he's your archetypal big number 9, when Rodger's must surely be looking at a more, I say it again 'cultured' player - much more of a Suarez.

What I've said is certainly applicable to FM, I for one wouldn't want Carroll leading my line when other players such as Suarez or even now Borini are available; and looking at Gerrard in my game now (now 34) there's nothing to suggest he doesn't have the required abilities to adept his style of play, think of it more so of him altering certain ppms.

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Don't worry about that :lol:

Rodgers has left me intrigued about Liverpool this season.

Yeah I do agree, I dont think he has the players readily available to play his system the same way as he did at Swansea. Suarez, Lucas and Agger I would say will fit besides from that I cant really think of anyone else. Andy Carroll would be a extremely useful "plan b" for when passing it isnt working and a long hoof is needed, I dont actually think they will get rid of him.

A excellent start to the thread all the same :thup:

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Awesome thread! It was only yesterday i read the same articles about rodgers defensive aspects of his tiki-taka. So i will follow this thread with great interest!

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It sounds like an incredibly boring tactic! It severely limits flair and creativity by not allowing the players to exhibit any. It's shortens their passing options which further reduces their need for creativity.

Or does it?

By limiting many of their options it means that the only way through is quick, intricate passing. This sort of limitation does not produce flair football but it might well produce attractive football. The same 'boring' problem is levelled at Spain but their level of techncial mastery and careful, inquisitive probing (I believe Swansea were the same?) mean that it is fascinating if you enjoy a bit of depth in your sport.

A great post with well explained examples of your choices. Cracking stuff, will be interested to see how this pans out in situ.

What does worry me a little is that Liverpool are a far bigger club than Swansea (no disrespect to Swansea, they have a rich history too but few clubs can match Liverpool despite their recent slump) and once they get a good couple of results under their belt teams will shut up shop against them. In FM this will probably happen straight away. With only one real method of attack this could be very problematic - you'd have to massively excel at that one way to be successful.

When facing Swansea teams were frustrated that the 'smaller' team were dominating the game so gaps will appear due to this. Liverpool won't have this luxury as some teams will be perfectly happy to walk away with a 0-0 draw from Anfield or nick a dirty goal on the counter. Rodgers will have to adapt or, more likely, introduce additional plans for dealing with different situations.

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I think he's left a lot of people intrigued.

Not sure I agree with your comment about Stevie G, as he was a lot more reserved and disciplined for England at the Euro's, which suggests he can play that way

Yeah, I was surprised at how reserved and disciplined Gerrard was at the Euros too. However, it's one thing to do it when you're playing as the underdog against the likes of France and Italy compared to when you're the expected favourites and the onus is on you to go out and attack.

tommonufc

"It will be interesting to see how he’ll adapt his system to accommodate for certain players in the Liverpool squad that would seem unsuitable for the style of play he’s after, in particular Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll."

Steven Gerrard has, or had a particular style of play I'd suggest. When you think of Andrea Pirlo you think of a metronomic passing maestro, a conductor of a midfield, conversely when looking to categorise Gerrard into similar terms you'd suggest him to be a powerful driving force in midfield, an all-action box-to-box midfielder, a player that is always at 100mph everywhere (and all I can think of is Jeremy Clarkson shouting "POWERRR"); in no way disrespectful but a different style of midfield to more cultured players of similar ages in Xavi, Pirlo, Xabi Alonso. A style I believe that has gone hand in hand in catapulting him to such cult status from such a young age (my first memory of him being that screamer against the Germans in 2001!), and has allowed him to step up and be counted and provide such memorable moments that he has done throughout his career.

I think it's obvious to see that this sort of all action, 100mph everywhere sort of player isn't going to fit into a more methodical approach isn't going to slot right in to a Brendan Rodger's system - but that's not to say that he can be an incredible addition to such a side. To say Steven Gerrard is unsuitable doesn't ring sense to me; after all he's an incredibly gifted midfielder, so much more so than many peers could have ever dreamed of reaching. Let's face it, Gerrard isn't going to be able to carry on this combative box-to-box role for ever, certainly not into his mid-to-late 30s. There will come a stage where he will have to redefine his style of play, much as Paul Scholes has done - and this could easily happen under Brendan Rodgers. To think he will use Gerrard in a Leon Britton deep role would take too much away from his game, and certainly wouldn't happen - but it isn't beyond Gerrard's tactical capabilities to be asked to reign in such attacking natures; to ask him to be more reserved in his passing, for the greater good of the system.

Andy Carroll will be a different situation, he's most threatening offensively when he can throw himself at a ball in the box, or reign supreme in ariel encounters with defenders - something that isn't necessarily going to happen too often with Rodgers. Pheraps Carroll doesn't have the necessary technical abilities or awareness to thrive in this sort of system; he's your archetypal big number 9, when Rodger's must surely be looking at a more, I say it again 'cultured' player - much more of a Suarez.

What I've said is certainly applicable to FM, I for one wouldn't want Carroll leading my line when other players such as Suarez or even now Borini are available; and looking at Gerrard in my game now (now 34) there's nothing to suggest he doesn't have the required abilities to adept his style of play, think of it more so of him altering certain ppms.

Don't get me wrong, Gerrard is a great player, I just feel like he did with Sigurdsson, a change of shape may be needed to bring out his best qualities. Like you say, he's getting older now and it's getting to the time where he has to re-define his game, but I feel that he's better suited to an advanced attacking role where he doesn't have to cover every blade of grass. Gerrard would be a great fit for the Sigurdsson role, imo, with two deeper, more defensive-minded midfielders behind him. I feel that's why Rodgers has gone after Joe Allen. With Gerrard in a Sigurdsson type role and Lucas in Britton's role, I think that a player who's a tidy and reliable passer, has good energy to contribute at both ends and is disciplined defensively would complete his midfield. Out of his current squad, Henderson would be the closest to providing this.

This is entirely subjective however but I feel the biggest dilemma Rodgers faces is the set-up of his midfield. It will be interesting to see how Rodgers deploys the likes of Gerrard to get the best out of them but I guess we will just have to wait and see. :)

furiousuk

It sounds like an incredibly boring tactic! It severely limits flair and creativity by not allowing the players to exhibit any. It's shortens their passing options which further reduces their need for creativity.

Or does it?

By limiting many of their options it means that the only way through is quick, intricate passing. This sort of limitation does not produce flair football but it might well produce attractive football. The same 'boring' problem is levelled at Spain but their level of techncial mastery and careful, inquisitive probing (I believe Swansea were the same?) mean that it is fascinating if you enjoy a bit of depth in your sport.

A great post with well explained examples of your choices. Cracking stuff, will be interested to see how this pans out in situ.

What does worry me a little is that Liverpool are a far bigger club than Swansea (no disrespect to Swansea, they have a rich history too but few clubs can match Liverpool despite their recent slump) and once they get a good couple of results under their belt teams will shut up shop against them. In FM this will probably happen straight away. With only one real method of attack this could be very problematic - you'd have to massively excel at that one way to be successful.

When facing Swansea teams were frustrated that the 'smaller' team were dominating the game so gaps will appear due to this. Liverpool won't have this luxury as some teams will be perfectly happy to walk away with a 0-0 draw from Anfield or nick a dirty goal on the counter. Rodgers will have to adapt or, more likely, introduce additional plans for dealing with different situations.

If you look at any statistics you'll find that even though they had the 3rd highest possession % in the league, they were 16th in the amount of shots per game. They also had the 2nd biggest percentage of play in their own half at 31% and they had the least amount of time spent in the opposition half at 22%. So even though they dominated possession, it was in non-threatening areas and Swansea were comfortable with that along as they had the ball. At Liverpool, I don't think that would quite wash over. Also, given that Rodgers now has better quality players to work with in every department, it would be very surprising if he didn't let some of his players loose a little bit. As you mention, some teams will come to Anfield and will happily surrender possession whilst focusing towards quick counters and it will be up to Rodgers to work a way of breaking them down.

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Yeah, I was surprised at how reserved and disciplined Gerrard was at the Euros too. However, it's one thing to do it when you're playing as the underdog against the likes of France and Italy compared to when you're the expected favourites and the onus is on you to go out and attack.

Don't get me wrong, Gerrard is a great player, I just feel like he did with Sigurdsson, a change of shape may be needed to bring out his best qualities. Like you say, he's getting older now and it's getting to the time where he has to re-define his game, but I feel that he's better suited to an advanced attacking role where he doesn't have to cover every blade of grass. Gerrard would be a great fit for the Sigurdsson role, imo, with two deeper, more defensive-minded midfielders behind him. I feel that's why Rodgers has gone after Joe Allen. With Gerrard in a Sigurdsson type role and Lucas in Britton's role, I think that a player who's a tidy and reliable passer, has good energy to contribute at both ends and is disciplined defensively would complete his midfield. Out of his current squad, Henderson would be the closest to providing this.

This is entirely subjective however but I feel the biggest dilemma Rodgers faces is the set-up of his midfield. It will be interesting to see how Rodgers deploys the likes of Gerrard to get the best out of them but I guess we will just have to wait and see. :)

If you look at any statistics you'll find that even though they had the 3rd highest possession % in the league, they were 16th in the amount of shots per game. They also had the 2nd biggest percentage of play in their own half at 31% and they had the least amount of time spent in the opposition half at 22%. So even though they dominated possession, it was in non-threatening areas and Swansea were comfortable with that along as they had the ball. At Liverpool, I don't think that would quite wash over. Also, given that Rodgers now has better quality players to work with in every department, it would be very surprising if he didn't let some of his players loose a little bit. As you mention, some teams will come to Anfield and will happily surrender possession whilst focusing towards quick counters and it will be up to Rodgers to work a way of breaking them down.

They also had the most interceptions made against them out of the entire Premier League (swansea).

I've always felt Rodgers took the easy route taking over Liverpool. Don't get me wrong he would have been silly to turn them down but I actually think it would have been harder had he stayed at Swansea. Teams know what to expect from them now and would have played differently against them. I'd have liked to see him prove himself with one more season at Swansea to see how good he actually is. Imho the Liverpool job is too early for him and he got a lot of credit at Swansea even though the style of play was already there when he took over. He just maintained it.

I can't wait to see how Liverpool do this season though and to see how good Rodgers is with actual tactics and the changes needed to make. I feel he'll have to mix things up more than he did at Swansea. I'm also not sure he has a plan b, so be interesting for me to see how he copes with teams playing defensive against him. It'll be a real test for him. I wish him well but I think he gets far to much credit, a lot more than he actually deserves.

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It'll be a real test for him. I wish him well but I think he gets far to much credit, a lot more than he actually deserves.

Part of the question is 'how much of the hype does he actually believe?'

Too much and he's sunk but if he's a humble guy who is willing to listen to some of the old heads he's got around him now then he could do well. Even I'd heard about Swansea's style before Rodgers arrived, but does the man himself realise that he didn't come up with it? Easy to get swept away with success that comes your way. At least it's something interesting!

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Part of the question is 'how much of the hype does he actually believe?'

Too much and he's sunk but if he's a humble guy who is willing to listen to some of the old heads he's got around him now then he could do well. Even I'd heard about Swansea's style before Rodgers arrived, but does the man himself realise that he didn't come up with it? Easy to get swept away with success that comes your way. At least it's something interesting!

Totally agree.

And then there is the fan side of things. A couple of bad results and will they get on his back and if they do how will he handle that? Going from a club that adores you and you can do no wrong to a club where everything can go wrong is a big brave step. I hope he does well and the fans realise they aren't a top 4 side anymore and give him the time to build a squad and style that he wants. It'll take a few years but Pool fans are quite impatient.

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I've always felt Rodgers took the easy route taking over Liverpool. Don't get me wrong he would have been silly to turn them down but I actually think it would have been harder had he stayed at Swansea. Teams know what to expect from them now and would have played differently against them. I'd have liked to see him prove himself with one more season at Swansea to see how good he actually is. Imho the Liverpool job is too early for him and he got a lot of credit at Swansea even though the style of play was already there when he took over. He just maintained it.

I can't wait to see how Liverpool do this season though and to see how good Rodgers is with actual tactics and the changes needed to make. I feel he'll have to mix things up more than he did at Swansea. I'm also not sure he has a plan b, so be interesting for me to see how he copes with teams playing defensive against him. It'll be a real test for him. I wish him well but I think he gets far to much credit, a lot more than he actually deserves.

Agree with all of this, it would have been interesting to see how he would've coped in a second season with Swansea. I give him credit for sticking to and believing in a style at Swansea and not wavering from it when it could've easily not have worked out.

I think one of the things that helped him out is that, given he had a relatively small squad at Swansea and he only had to contend with domestic competitions, he could pick virtually the same 11 every week and didn't have to worry much about squad rotation. With Liverpool, he has to now keep happy a bigger pool of players as well as balancing the Europa League with the Premiership.

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I've always felt Rodgers took the easy route taking over Liverpool. Don't get me wrong he would have been silly to turn them down but I actually think it would have been harder had he stayed at Swansea. Teams know what to expect from them now and would have played differently against them.

Teams will still know what to expect of Rodgers, even if it's now with Liverpool players rather than Swansea ones; judging by pre-season so far (which isn't a fantastic indicator, granted) the system hasn't shown much change from Swansea. Everton actually countered Swansea very well, pressing heavily in midfield, so the Merseyside derby this season could be intriguing. You're right, though, that it will be interesting to see how Rodgers adapts to teams 'figuring out' his system, it's just that he'll have to do so at Liverpool rather than at Swansea.

He got a lot of credit at Swansea even though the style of play was already there when he took over. He just maintained it.

While it's true the foundation was there, to say he only maintained it is a bit harsh - under Paulo Sousa they scored 40 goals in 46 games. In Rodgers' first season that figure was 69 goals. Obviously part of this was down to signing better quality players, but the team became more attacking than they were under Sousa.

With Liverpool, he has to now keep happy a bigger pool of players as well as balancing the Europa League with the Premiership.

I'm hoping to see us use a "B-team" for the Europa League and focus on the Premiership. No disrespect to the Europa League, but it's not as important to our immediate future.

Also, about your OP - did Allen contribute enough defensively for you as an AP? I'd have thought he'd be more of a DLP. And why leave counter-attack unticked? There was a fair few occasions last season where Swansea would pass it around their own half or near the centre circle, then spot an opening and break quickly, playing at a higher tempo to their usual passing game.; it's not counter-attacking in the same way as, say, Martin O'Neill's sides, but I would have thought ticking 'counter' would facilitate fast breaks like this.

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Also, about your OP - did Allen contribute enough defensively for you as an AP? I'd have thought he'd be more of a DLP. And why leave counter-attack unticked? There was a fair few occasions last season where Swansea would pass it around their own half or near the centre circle, then spot an opening and break quickly, playing at a higher tempo to their usual passing game.; it's not counter-attacking in the same way as, say, Martin O'Neill's sides, but I would have thought ticking 'counter' would facilitate fast breaks like this.

You could be right about Allen as a DLP. When they played a 4-3-3 he was certainly more advanced but after the switch to a 4-2-3-1 he did operate a little deeper.

With regards to the counter-attack, I may agree with you there too :D. They did look to build a slow attack from the back especially off of goal-kicks but the counter-attack option would allow for a change in tempo. However, I'm rather skeptical of the counter-attack option in a possession-based tactic as it can lead to attacks being a little too direct.

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While it's true the foundation was there, to say he only maintained it is a bit harsh - under Paulo Sousa they scored 40 goals in 46 games. In Rodgers' first season that figure was 69 goals. Obviously part of this was down to signing better quality players, but the team became more attacking than they were under Sousa.

Did you follow Swansea? They didn't get more attacking, they just finally signed a goalscorer who could actually put the ball away. In the season you mention when Souza was incharge the highest scorer was Pratley and he scored 7. In Rodgers season they had Sinclair who scored 19 in the league iirc. They also resigned Britton from us which made a huge difference.

I'm not been harsh its just I've followed Swansea and been checking on them since Jackett as I liked their approach and style. I've watched majority of the games they've played in the last 6 years.

He honestly inherited the style from the previous 3 managers, Rodgers asn't put his own stamp on things. Jackett started it, Martinez perfected it and Souza made them better defensivley. Rodgers just carried the style on. Infact Martinez has the better record over more than double the games compared to Rodgers.

Rodgers improved the team though no doubt about that. He just didn't add his own style to the team imho.

Edit - Sorry reading this back it comes across as agressive, I didn't mean it that way so sorry :)

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You could be right about Allen as a DLP. When they played a 4-3-3 he was certainly more advanced but after the switch to a 4-2-3-1 he did operate a little deeper.

With regards to the counter-attack, I may agree with you there too :D. They did look to build a slow attack from the back especially off of goal-kicks but the counter-attack option would allow for a change in tempo. However, I'm rather skeptical of the counter-attack option in a possession-based tactic as it can lead to attacks being a little too direct.

I actually created a Swansea tactic months back. I did the 41221 version, not sure if you saw it but it's not all that different from yours. The save game is even there to download to compare to your own if you wanted;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/289528-The-SI-Sports-Centre-All-You-Need-To-Know-About-FM

Post 84 downwards.

:)

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I actually created a Swansea tactic months back. I did the 41221 version, not sure if you saw it but it's not all that different from yours. The save game is even there to download to compare to your own if you wanted;

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/289528-The-SI-Sports-Centre-All-You-Need-To-Know-About-FM

Post 84 downwards.

:)

I remember reading that.

The two tactics are quite similar but yours is much more varied offensively as highlighted by the form you got of your front three. I've tried playing as Swansea before but I never managed that degree of success. :lol:

However, the plan of this thread is to use FM to translate Rodgers's approach at Swansea onto Liverpool and see how they fair. I think it will be quite interesting to see the degree of success that the style can bring but also to see where the weaknesses/problems may lie.

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Teams will still know what to expect of Rodgers, even if it's now with Liverpool players rather than Swansea ones; judging by pre-season so far (which isn't a fantastic indicator, granted) the system hasn't shown much change from Swansea. Everton actually countered Swansea very well, pressing heavily in midfield, so the Merseyside derby this season could be intriguing. You're right, though, that it will be interesting to see how Rodgers adapts to teams 'figuring out' his system, it's just that he'll have to do so at Liverpool rather than at Swansea.

He needs to figure out his system pretty sharpish judging from the 3 games state side. In all 3 games we were really poor and didn't really create any CCC's.

The only positives I took from them games ( yes I am a Liverpool fan ) was how good Suso and Pacheco looked, but again wont feature in the senior side this year even though they are the technical players needed to play this system.

OK Suso maybe a touch too young, but Pacheco really deserves a place in the senior squad with his performances in the USA tour and also today for the reserves ( which Suso scored twice may I add ).

Getting shot of Aquilani was a start, but now we have to off load the likes of Adam, Downing and Cole. All 3 IMO are just not cut out to play this style of football, no matter what the media keep saying about Joe Cole.

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He needs to figure out his system pretty sharpish judging from the 3 games state side. In all 3 games we were really poor and didn't really create any CCC's.

The only positives I took from them games ( yes I am a Liverpool fan ) was how good Suso and Pacheco looked, but again wont feature in the senior side this year even though they are the technical players needed to play this system.

OK Suso maybe a touch too young, but Pacheco really deserves a place in the senior squad with his performances in the USA tour and also today for the reserves ( which Suso scored twice may I add ).

Getting shot of Aquilani was a start, but now we have to off load the likes of Adam, Downing and Cole. All 3 IMO are just not cut out to play this style of football, no matter what the media keep saying about Joe Cole.

I'm a big fan of Pacheco, he can play AMC, Striker, Left wing and even MC. Great talent and ashame if he doesn't get a look in this season, he is technically brilliant.

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A question about selecting counter attacking as your starting strategy. I've always thought counter attack means getting the ball forward as soon as you get possession , with a high tempo.

I've never used it if I want teams to keep the ball for this reason. Changing all the sliders manually like you have , doesn't that make the staring stragetgy option redundant? May as well keep it on standard?

I'm not criticising , just trying to learn more about the game.

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A question about selecting counter attacking as your starting strategy. I've always thought counter attack means getting the ball forward as soon as you get possession , with a high tempo.

The reason I chose the Counter strategy was because of the lower mentality system. For possession-based football, lower mentality systems work better for passing the ball around and, in Rodgers case, using it as a defensive tool. It restricts the players from being either too aggressive or ambitious in their passing and when combined with low creative freedom and short passing, it should help build possession the way that Rodgers liked. Try not to think of the counter strategy as simply counter-attacking football, because with the use of shouts you can dramatically alter your team's style of play.

I've never used it if I want teams to keep the ball for this reason. Changing all the sliders manually like you have , doesn't that make the staring stragetgy option redundant? May as well keep it on standard?

I'm not criticising , just trying to learn more about the game.

With other teams I've played as in FM, I've favoured using the standard strategy with higher settings in creative freedom/tempo/passing and you can still play possession football for sure. It's just that with Rodgers, he was more pragmatic and frankly boring with the way he wanted his players to keep the ball.

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Strategy generally affects 5 things: player mentality and the four team parameters (defensive line, width, tempo and time wasting). In the case of the counter strategy, it also enables the 'counter attack' tick option.

This tick option causes the "high tempo" shift that can take place when the team gets possession and sees an opportunity to break. However, because strategy does not affect player passing distance, choosing "counter" doesn't immediately lead to launching long balls. Equally, you should note that setting passing to 'short' doesn't mean longer passes are never played, they are just played less frequently.

Even though he's changed the sliders manually, the strategy he's chosen will still affect player mentality, which is the key reason he's chosen "counter" instead of "standard". I like to think of player mentality as their willingness to take risks or play it safe; the lower their mentality, the safer they play, while the higher their mentality the more willing they are to take risks. As such, a counter strategy suits retaining possession, as players look to make short passes to available options rather than the ambitious pass that might not even have a 50-50 chance of success.

All in all, I'd say "counter" is a very bad choice of name for the strategy, much like "control" is, and a lot of people misunderstand the mechanics behind the two strategies because of the automatic connotations they have with the name.

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Cool, so setting strategy to control in this case is purely to set the players mentality right, not the team as a whole instructions. Ticking the sliders for width , tempo and defensive line makes the team play different to how a counter strategy would play out on the tactic creator normally. Although the shouts wouldn't work properly because those things have been ticked.

I'm just trying to get more of an idea of the mechanics of FM itself, maybe this thread isn't the best place to do it. I'm also looking forward to see how Liverpool change this season, and I agree with the theory it would have been interesting to see how Rogers would have done in the second Swansea season. Instead he has given himself an altogether different challenge, but still an interesting one.

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With other teams I've played as in FM, I've favoured using the standard strategy with higher settings in creative freedom/tempo/passing and you can still play possession football for sure. It's just that with Rodgers, he was more pragmatic and frankly boring with the way he wanted his players to keep the ball.

Boring is quite unfair and unjust I'd have to say; but like you say, although you instantly think of such a passing, movement, possession based system to be an offensive weapon, it also works fantastically in defensive factors as well. Unable to provide a quote, but Rodger's says something along that his players are unable to rest when they don't have possession, and will therefore press heavily in a unified formation until they are able to win back the ball - where they will then either attack if in a position to do so, or pass the ball around waiting for an offensive opportunity to arise - in which it allows them to then rest.

Following that, I've learnt that probably the biggest challenge in my opinion, when look to build a succesful system like this, especially defensively, you'd have in FM is to build an effective pressing system to suit the members of your team, which will enable you to defend high and nullify an attacking threat early. Where I say to suit members of your side, the most clear example would be that if you had a midfield of aggressive defensive midfielders for example - Tiote, M'Vila, Mascherano - these guys will have a much better stats that will allow them to really press quickly and aggressivly - where as a midfield of Pirlo, Tarrabt, or, lets say, hell Danny Murphy - they would be either slower, in the case of Murphy and Pirlo, or lazy with low work-rate in example of Tarrabt - so to ask the latter three to press with the same instructions as the first three would be disastrous. Similar principles to having quick defenders with high defensive lines, if played with suitably quick defenders such as, of the top of my head, Kurt Zouma, Phil Jones, Varane, Papadopoulos, Dede or any other quick defenders for that matter it can almost be impenetrable when balls are played behind - but if played with a partnership of such shipping tankers of defenders as Terry or Metersaker, it again will be disastrous.

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I think it'll be more difficult for him to move to Liverpool than it was when he arrived here in Swansea. We pretty much had the players he needed to play that way here already after Martinez and Sousa, and even to a lesser extent, Kenny Jackett. Liverpool won't be used to playing that way and I find it hard to envision some of their current playing staff adapting well. Remember when he moved from Watford to Reading and tried to get them playing good football - it didn't work out and he was sacked fairly quickly. Some players just can't make the transition. He did a good job for us though and I hope he does well at Liverpool and wish him all the best. If he comes back to poach our players, I'll think differently though. One thing you can expect from him at Liverpool is that he'll spend a lot of time bigging himself up. He likes a TV camera and a microphone, does Brendan.

I'm also looking forward to see which direction Michael Laudrup takes us forward. Let's not forget, he played in Cruyff's "Dream Team" at Barcelona. Judging by what I've read, and the limited highlights of the pre-season friendlies thus far, I think it'll be a slight reversion to the style played by Martinez when he was here - more attacking. I almost fell off my chair after an interview Laudrup gave after our recent friendly against Colorado Rapids - he said that we played too many short passes! Can you imagine Brendan saying that?! Haha!

I'm really enjoying the increased talk about our club over the last year. I can't imagine a thread like this being made about one of our managers when we were at the foot of the 4th Division, so thanks lads. If any of you are interested, please take a look at my Brendan Rodgers tactic on the upload/download forum and possibly give it a try and leave feedback. I'd appreciate it a lot.

JJ

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I'm also looking forward to see which direction Michael Laudrup takes us forward. Let's not forget, he played in Cruyff's "Dream Team" at Barcelona. Judging by what I've read, and the limited highlights of the pre-season friendlies thus far, I think it'll be a slight reversion to the style played by Martinez when he was here - more attacking. I almost fell off my chair after an interview Laudrup gave after our recent friendly against Colorado Rapids - he said that we played too many short passes! Can you imagine Brendan saying that?! Haha!

JJ

While i embrace the total football philosophy, Chico(central defender) heading in crosses from Ashley williams(central defender) might be taking it a bit too far :eek: (San Jose vs Swansea Chico had a disallowed goal)

WHO ARE WE

JACK ARMY

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Great thread Kevin!

Are you are you testing your theories in game atm or was this only a presentation? I am currently playing with swansea with this thread in mind. Looking forward for the Liverpool prediction!

Cheers

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Great thread Kevin!

Are you are you testing your theories in game atm or was this only a presentation? I am currently playing with swansea with this thread in mind. Looking forward for the Liverpool prediction!

Cheers

Yeah, I'm testing at the minute but so far I'm pleased with how it has performed. I've updated the OP to show my progress with Liverpool but I'm also looking to put up an analysis of each game I've played so far. :)

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I found a post I did a little while back on Swansea that I think has relevance to this thread so I'm going to add it in here.

I've been having a go at emulating Swansea's style of play as close as I can to their real life counter-parts. I had a look at a few games they've played and I analysed certain phases of their play and I'm pleased as well as surprised with how I was able to pull it off in the match engine.

swansea1.jpg

This shows Swansea's default shape in the attacking phase - two holding midfielders, Sigurdsson in the hole with two wingers and a forward playing high up against the Fulham back four. In terms of Fulham shape, they are playing a deep, narrow and very rigid 4-5-1. Keep an eye on Rangel on the far right as he becomes important in the next photo.

swansea2.jpg

When Allen receives the ball, Sigurdsson drops off a little, Routledge drifts a little inside and Rangel makes a surging run into the space down the right hand side. Translating this into FM, I gave Sigurdsson a mid-line mentality and mixed runs from deep, I gave Routledge a mentality of 11 and runs from deep often and I gave Rangel a mentality of 13 and runs from deep often. Also, I decided to go with a team width of 13 as Swansea like to open the pitch wide enough with their wingers but they also come inside, like you have seen in these photos.

Allen decides to go for the difficult ball into Rangel. He could have played the simple pass into Sigurdsson or back to Britton or even back to Caulker but no, Allen decides to mix it up. In FM terms, there are a few aspects that come into play. Firstly, I must give him a high enough mentality to go for the forward pass , I must give him the creative freedom to try and attempt a pass like that and I must let him attempt through-balls.

The set-up of the Swansea attack along with the ball Allen has played has created a multitude of problems for the Fulham back-line. Hangeland decides to get tight to Sigurdsson and play as a stopper, the Fulham left back has seen the run of Rangel and is ready to come out and intercept the pass and the wide-left midfielder has tracked the run of Rangel also. This re-shuffle has created a pretty big gap between Hangeland and the Fulham left-back and if Routledge was clever enough with his movement, he would run into that space. (I would also have to give Allen a hell of amount of creative freedom to try that pass :))

swansea5.jpg

Comparing this to the second picture I've shown and it's more or less a mirror image. The positioning and spacing between Allen-Britton, Sigurdsson-Routledge as well as Rangel's run are identical between the two images.

What surprised me with this image was that it was Britton that attempted the pass even though I gave him a defensive mentality, low creative freedom and through balls rarely. Looking at it again, I suppose he had no other option but to try and play Rangel in as all the other options have been tightly marked.

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Could this style of footballing be a resemblence of Louis Van Gaal's philosophy during ajax's champions league winning season of 95?

And what is your tip to make players stop trying to force runs and passes into areas where's it not suited?? What i want is if a winger for example isnt able to pass his marker i want him to turn back and play it either to a midfielder or the full back. Much like Van Gaal.

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Could this style of footballing be a resemblence of Louis Van Gaal's philosophy during ajax's champions league winning season of 95?

And what is your tip to make players stop trying to force runs and passes into areas where's it not suited?? What i want is if a winger for example isnt able to pass his marker i want him to turn back and play it either to a midfielder or the full back. Much like Van Gaal.

To answer your latter question you'd need to set some individual tactical instructions for those wingers - I know the sort of player your looking for, and is how I like to set my wing backs up at the moment. Your need to first of all limit their running with the ball, and possibly through balls to none at all - that would mean they will always look for the pass when coming up against a defender. Secondly your want to limit their creative freedom to such an extent where they will stick to your instructions, but also be allowed to overide if the opportunity arises where it would be best for them to play that through ball for example. This is something I've found easiest done with the Classic set up rather than the TC.

From what I've read, heard and seen of the Ajax 95 side (I would have only been 2 at the time!) Marc Overmars and Findini George would have been the wingers in question - and they were set up to stretch the play, creating space for the play to be quickly switched, looking for the turn back and pass rather than pinning the full back to the byline and taking him on - where as here in Rodger's style, from what has been seen of Swansea last year, especially Sinclair and Dyer both had license to run with the ball - so I'd say that it's a polar opposite, but a lot more expansive wing play than Ajax of 95'.

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This post is going to be all over the place. Sorry.

I suggest you fellas have a look at this... (Just to get it out of the way now... I'm a Liverpool supporter)

http://www.thepathismadebywalking.com/002%20Journal/RodgersTIKITAKA.html

I've been watching Barcelona for some time and have been really amazed by how they and the Spanish National team play. Suffice to say, I was thrilled when Rodgers was announced as manager.

I created my own formation that seems to be completely dominating possession and limiting the opposition's chances which is the point.

Screenshot2012-08-24at13809PM.png

The formation is quite similar to that in the OP with the mentality and a few of the player roles the only changes. I know the mentality bit has been talked about in this thread previously but, I just wanted to touch on it a bit. I personally went with control because if the Barcelona style is anything, it's attacking. You could see that last night against Madrid, despite only a few minutes remaining, Barcelona didn't simply hold the ball and run out time, they kept attacking. So I do want an attack minded side, however to counter some of the negative aspects, I do drop the tempo of play to slow.

I also favor a fluid philosophy because in Rodgers system, everyone is required to defend/press. I noticed that attackers seem to press less if the philosophy is set to balanced or lower. To ensure players aren't all over the pitch and out of position however, I don't allow anyone to roam from their position. As Rodgers, Pep, and Xavi have all been quoted as saying, players have to know where their teammate is going to be if they're to be able to move the ball quickly.

Starting from the front

-Advanced forward- you need someone who can receive the ball and control it while still being able to bring others into play in addition to being able to score. Siem de Jong really excels in this role.

-Inside forwards- These guys are going to score you tons of goals. Pacey strikers make excellent inside forwards, and you need to ensure that they keep the crossing to a minimum. (Crossing is simply a chance to lose possession, something we don't want to do) I'd also suggest you train them to play one-twos and to cut inside.

-Center Mids- These guys have got to have stamina. They've got to push forward and provide support and an attacking threat, in addition to being able to track back and defend. They tend to be able to get away with a more attacking mentality as your side improves. If you can retain possession, you don't have to defend.

-Deep lying playmaker- This is a really pivotal role. He's got to be a really strong defender, but also must be able to control the ball and distribute it effectively. If he receives the ball and loses possession or gives it away with a poor pass, you're giving away a excellent chance to counter to the other team. Lucas will do quite well for Rodgers in this role. He needs to stay back and not press forward.

-Centerbacks- Barcelona and Rodgers both favor a duo of a defensive physical defender (Skrtel) and a ball playing defender who can distribute the ball (Agger).

-Wing backs- Barcelona actually look to bring in wingers into their youth setup and then convert them to wingbacks. That alone should tell you all you need to know. They have to press forward and give you your width. Make sure you set their wide play to "hug touchline" and cross "from byline". Barcelona and Rodgers have identified that if you do cross, the most effective area to cross from the byline at the edge of the box, otherwise crossing is just a way of giving the ball away. It would be better to just recycle the ball, than to give it away and allow the counter.

-Sweeper keeper- He has to be able to command the area and basically play as a sweeper. Long kicks up field are also pointless, just another way to lose possession. Make sure he's using a quick throw to your deep lying playmaker or defender collect.

Sorry this has been such a messy post. I really enjoyed this thread.

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Here are the stats from Liverpool's first match using the new tactic I developed. This is in year two against Norwich, granted it's Norwich but these are the kinds of numbers I usually get. (The result was 0-0, but as I said, it was their first match with the new tactic.)

Screenshot2012-08-24at22505PM.png

I developed the tactic in my Bordeaux save, so I decided to give it a go in my Liverpool save. As you can see possession is far and away in my favor and 86% of passes completed is exactly where we want to be.

This is what you want to see from your keeper, rather than just hoofing it up field and losing possession.

Screenshot2012-08-24at23115PM-1.png

My CDMs (Lucas and Koke), completed 80 out of 86 of their passes.

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Thats quite a similar outcome to my formation Gene (see seperate thread) - i can dominat possession, i have had 2 games where the opposition have had zero shots, and 3 others where they managed only 1 shot. We pass, pass, pass, pass - exactly the rodgers appproach.

I do struggle a bit up front - Have you had good sucess with an Advanced forward? What kind of settings do you have?

Thats also very impressive from your keeper - What settings does he have? I have mine doing a quick throw to my wingback, but you have me thinking about changing it to be my BPD.

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to encourage possession i set distribution to "defender collect" - this helps them to build play from the back, rather than trying an attacking move like a quick throw or long kick

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From watching the United-Liverpool game the OP is really close to the way I saw Liverpool play including them having more discipline. A very nice spot that I wouldn't have thought about if I was going to think about his style based on what I read/heard about (didn't see any games last season).

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If I hear all these quotes of Brendan Rodgers, it is like hearing Johan Cruyff talking. I hope for the Liverpool fans that he will deliver the same football and results of the dutch grand master! :-)

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Did you follow Swansea? They didn't get more attacking, they just finally signed a goalscorer who could actually put the ball away. In the season you mention when Souza was incharge the highest scorer was Pratley and he scored 7. In Rodgers season they had Sinclair who scored 19 in the league iirc. They also resigned Britton from us which made a huge difference.

I'm not been harsh its just I've followed Swansea and been checking on them since Jackett as I liked their approach and style. I've watched majority of the games they've played in the last 6 years.

He honestly inherited the style from the previous 3 managers, Rodgers asn't put his own stamp on things. Jackett started it, Martinez perfected it and Souza made them better defensivley. Rodgers just carried the style on. Infact Martinez has the better record over more than double the games compared to Rodgers.

Rodgers improved the team though no doubt about that. He just didn't add his own style to the team imho.

Edit - Sorry reading this back it comes across as agressive, I didn't mean it that way so sorry :)

Were you drunk when you wrote this?

Furthermore, Rodgers will be one of the greatest managers in Liverpool's history. That guy was born to lead LFC.

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Were you drunk when you wrote this?

Furthermore, Rodgers will be one of the greatest managers in Liverpool's history. That guy was born to lead LFC.

Where did you lose your good manners? If you want to criticize you need to be constructive...

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