By Mikey Foley (TTT Subscriber Conradhart).
I simply cannot pigeon-hole Brendan Rodgers. When I try to make sense of his tactical thinking, as I was accustomed to when Rafa was in charge, my brain hurts. When I use logic to try to predict what he will do with certain players, he does something else that seems to defy the logic of many of us here on TTT. When I try to get behind him with 100% faith and confidence in his ability, as I did with Rafa, I find myself holding back a bit as I’m still not sure if things are coming together in a freakishly fortunate fashion or if he has a genius that can bring magical order out of a truly bizarre season. And yet, time and time again, he makes a mockery of my so-called logical thinking.
At one point in the season there was a huge debate on whether, regardless of his legendary status and standing as captain and leader at the club, Gerrard was past it. Was he worthy of the first team any more or just a place on the bench? The received logic seemed to be that he was holding the team back by upsetting their shape. Rodgers, on the other hand, had completely different ideas and simply refused to entertain a line-up that did not include Gerrard’s unique talents, despite his physical regression. Right now I would take one of our greatest ever players still being a part of the team over any kind of logical team balancing. This is totally down to Rodgers’ unique take on this conundrum and the results he has got out of doing things his way.
Raheem Sterling looked like he had regressed hugely early on in the season. So much so that many of us wondered if there was a place for him in the squad let alone the team. Rodgers saw things differently and has turned one of the most talented teenagers in the country last season into a bona fide premier league star this season. Would most of us have stuck with Sterling through those bad times and got such performances out of him as we’ve witnessed in recent weeks?
How many managers would have even contemplated throwing a short and slight waif of a playmaker into the centre of the park in one of the world’s most aggressive and physical leagues?
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