Brendan Rodgers came to Liverpool with a plan. He wanted to crush the opposition with possession. He wanted to play the ball on the ground. No longer would Liverpool lump long balls into the box—meaning Rodgers wouldn't need Andy Carroll and his long, beautiful ponytail. Instead, he planned to create a footballing vision around the genius and madness that is Luis Suarez. The plan worked.
His philosophy at Swansea was to press and pass teams to death. While he modified that philosophy a bit to suit Suarez, the basic premises were still there and Suarez reaped the benefits. But now the Uruguayan is gone, off to Barcelona. Despite that, Rodgers isn't going to change his plan.
"In terms of Luis going, I think when I came in I told Luis the philosophy and how we work and our vision for the game would really suit his qualities and the last couple of years have proven that with his goal-scoring record an the chances he was able to create for himself and others, but that won’t change," Rodgers told reporters in Boston on Tuesday.
"The philosophy doesn’t change," he continued. "The personnel might, but our game principals are very much the same. We want to be defensively strong, good organization to press the ball really hard, and then when we have the ball to create chances and retain possession for as long as we can. So that won’t change now that Luis is gone."
Defense wasn't Liverpool's strong suit last year, and that has led to rumours the club are in for numerous defenders during the summer transfer window. That does't mean Rodgers can't dream of a mobile and better version of Liverpool's attack in the long run, even if he knows there are no certain or perfect replacements for the genius of Suarez.
"You can’t replace him like-for-like," Rodgers said, "but there will be other players we can bring in that can maybe bring other things to a game, maybe other facets. But our core principals won’t change."
Rodgers repeated, again, that no player is bigger than the club and that Liverpool will again move forward, just as it has in the past. He may have known the dark arts of Suarez's mind and been able to somewhat keep the forward's mad antics in tact, but now he knows the club has to continue pushing ahead without another iconic forward, just as it has in the past.
"[Suarez] was a brilliant player for us, for me," Rodgers said. "I will always see him as a good man and a good friend. He gave everything to Liverpool and he left Liverpool after his time as a world-class talent and you know it’s obviously a shame he is not here, but Liverpool is a club that is bigger than any individual.
"I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it again: he’s a fantastic player, but we will move forward and there is real excitement going into this season"
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