Brendan Rodgers had two excellent seasons at Swansea City and one superb season at Liverpool. The fact that he's still only 41 and in charge of his fourth club is impressive considering that his he's only experienced full seasons at his last two clubs. Rodgers' brief spells at Watford and Reading quickly revealed the contrasting fortunes that managerial life can offer outside the warm confines of a Chelsea set-up where the reigning LMA Manager of the Year was trusted and valued in the way he worked.
Much has been written about Liverpool's return to the Champions League and the manner in which the club challenged closely for a domestic league title that has been a forgotten friend for nearly 25 years. One crumb of warning for those heralding the manager as one of the best in Europe is that one excellent season does not forge a fearsome reputation. The likes of Pep Guardiola, Rafael Benítez, Jürgen Klopp, José Mourinho, Diego Simeone, and Carlo Ancelotti have won European and domestic trophies to confirm their promise as well as announce their considerable talents to friends and foes.
Diego Simeone's success in the past couple of years with Atlético Madrid has catapulted him to one of the most in-demand managers in Europe. The hard-working, space controlling, and counter attacking outfit that he has created would not be making waves without trophies to testify to the strength of his work. Barcelona and Real Madrid are formidable barriers to domestic glory in a tough league while European success of any kind is worthy of merit. Simeone shares a birthday in April with a manager ten years his senior who confirmed his talents by the same age (44) in the same league with those two same barriers to domestic success.
Brendan Rodgers nearly managed to boast a respectable feat of his own in topping a strong league with four teams possessing a higher wage and transfer budget in tandem with Champions League football to attract the quality of players that Liverpool could not. Liverpool finished above three of the four to attain a runners up spot in the Premier League but could not best the club who had the greatest financial power of the four who were projected to finish ahead of a side that finished seventh in Rodgers' first season.
The attacking football was bewildering as Liverpool returned from their Champions League exile and Jamie Carragher was an observer who "enjoyed watching Liverpool" in his first season after retiring as a Liverpool legend. The man from Bootle shared his thoughts with the official site on what Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers' next step should be in a season where the best nights European football can offer will return to Anfield.
He is a great manager - he has done a great job for Liverpool.Next year it will be important that they do well in the Champions League and the Premier League, but also try to win a trophy as well.The manager has been there for two years now; the next step for him and the team, a lot of the players, is to pick a trophy up and get some winners' medals.
There has been a feeling among many Liverpool supporters that this season should be the firm foundation for a return to winning ways that a club of such pedigree merits and it can only be achieved with continued progression each season. What can be termed as progress from the 2013/2014 season? Winning the Premier League as the only improvement is first place or securing Champions League football for a second season in a row? What about winning a trophy even if the Premier League and Champions League is out of reach? Will the Europa League, FA Cup, or League Cup suffice for players such as Luis Suárez and Steven Gerrard? Could a combination of a trophy and a top four finish sate even the most ambitious of players and fans?
Brendan Rodgers' task is to win as many games as possible as it would be for any other manager but as a season nears its conclusion, objectives become clearer as possibilities narrow and expand over the course of repeated 90 minute battles. Jamie Carragher knows what winning trophies can do for the mentality of players just as last season's title race was an educational and fortifying experience for every member of Liverpool's squad. Amidst all the transfer news and World Cup chatter, what should be the next step for Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool?
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