With the departure of Luis Suarez from the ranks of Liverpool FC, there is a sense of cautious optimism from the loyal fan base. Asides from a handful of idiots, generally the departure has been met with well wishes and a “thanks for the memories” kind of vibe. There is no doubt, Suarez was a significant reason the Reds came so close to securing their first Premier League title since the format change. But there is another reason fans, and myself, remain optimistic: Brendan Rogers.
After taking over two seasons ago, Brendan Rogers has imprinted his attacking, high-energy version of football upon the Melwood Training Center. After a period of adjustment, the players have taken to this brand of football with gusto and the rewards are self evident. After only two seasons at the helm, the Reds find themselves in the 2014/2015 Champion’s League, and some deep coffers to supplement the squad. The Fenway Sports Group (did you know Liverpool are American owned?) have reportedly entrusted Rogers with the entire £75 million from the Suarez sale to improve the team. But there is no doubt, Suarez was a engine to that success and his departure leaves the faithful uneasy.
Many push the mantra, “In BR (Brendan Rogers) we trust,” and I find myself agreeing with that to some degree. I’ve nosed through Roger’s signings over the last two years and, sure, there have been some absolute flops but also some real winners. Daniel Sturridge, languishing at Chelsea, has flourished under Rogers’ tutelage to the tune of 20 goals last season. Philip Coutinho, a diminutive Brazilian midfielder, had some breathtaking passes and a timely goal against Manchester City during the title hunt. It’s unreasonable to think all of Rogers’ summer signings for the coming season will have that kind of impact but two or three may. Ricky Lambert’s story is enough to get any scouse misty but he still clearly has energy and passion as a striker for the squad. Emre Can may flop or develop into a nicely rounded defensive mid-fielder capable of contribution. Adam Lallana’s pedigree is widely known and his creative talents are supposed to bring a new dimension to the mid-field, and perhaps the key to unlock a Chelsea-like defense. But the most interesting (read: exciting) signing thus far is Markovic. Described as the next Messi or Ronaldo in some niche circles, many claim this guy is an absolute technical beast, capable of playing anywhere across the front line and doing serious damage — if he matures and focuses on his craft. Can Brendan whisper in the kid’s ear and flick the light on more consistently?
And so we come full circle. In BR we trust. With three summer signings thus far, a high-potential signing in the next few days, and the blessing from FSG to continue strengthening the squad, the future does indeed look bright for the Reds. I, for one, wish Luis and his family well. I thoroughly enjoyed his passion, expertise, and though I could of done without the drama, all in all, Liverpool FC was lucky to have his talents for three years. “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”