From the outside, one tends to imagine managerial changes as acrimonious affairs. More often than not, though, they’re the opposite. Sometimes they can be downright pleasant, as Brendan Rodgers says was the case when Jürgen Klopp took over at Liverpool.
"I remember when Klopp first got the job," Rodgers told beIN Sport, revealing a more amicable handover than many would have imagined. "We sat down and spoke. We had a chat at my house. He’s a good guy. Whatever help he needed going into the job, I was there for that."
Rodgers also opened up about the decision to push through a deal for Christian Benteke last summer, a move the club’s transfer committee reportedly wanted to walk away from with Aston Villa unwilling budge on a valuation that was £10M higher than Liverpool’s.
Most Liverpool fans were doubtful of Benteke’s fit for the club at any price. At the price paid, it brought back memories of Andy Carroll more than anything. Rodgers, though, believes Benteke truly has what it takes to come good. It’s just a matter of giving the big man time.
"We felt at that time that Christian was up there in terms of goals to games," said the ex-Liverpool manager, reflecting on his £32.5M signing. "We felt that he was someone that we didn’t have in the squad. The problem now is the patience element. There doesn’t seem to be time.
"We talk about patience. An example is Robert Lewandowski at Bayern Munich and he wouldn’t have got the patience in the Premier League that he did in the Bundesliga and now look at him. Christian over time will show he’s a top class player."
Perhaps time is all Benteke needs, but on the evidence so far, he’s no better a fit for the club than Carroll was. Or than Mario Balotelli. Benteke is more talented than either, and has largely managed to continue his one in two scoring return for the Reds, but that hasn’t made him a good fit.
With Liverpool well and truly out of the running for the top four, though, he’s got half a season left to show he can at least begin to become the striker Liverpool need him to be if his purchase is ever be remembered as anything other than a monumental mistake.
As for Rodgers, despite early whispers that he could head to Spain to coach or that he would return to again take on the Swansea job, as yet he appears content to spend some time on the sidelines before re-entering the managerial market next summer.