|Date of Birth||
26 January 1973
|Place of Birth||
Carnlough, Northern Ireland
Brendan Rodgers (born 26 January 1973) is a Northern Irish football manager who is currently the manager of Liverpool F.C. He left Swansea City to sign a three-year deal with the Reds on 31 May 2012, following the departure of Kenny Dalglish on 16 May 2012. He took over a Liverpool team that had failed to qualify for the Champions League for three seasons in a row, and had developed frustrating goalscoring problems. Whilst trying to implement his possession-based philosophy at Liverpool, his first season in charge was wrought with difficulty as he was unable to guide his team into the top half of the table until December. The season ended encouragingly, however Rodgers could only lead the Reds to a 7th placed finish. In his second season in charge, Liverpool improved markedly as they finished runners-up in the Premier League, just two points behind Champions Manchester City, but sealing their Champions League return. Rodgers oversaw the development of Liverpool into one of the most prolific attacking teams in Europe, and was rewarded with the LMA Manager of the Year award for the 2013-14 season.
After the departure of Kenny Dalglish, Liverpool's owners the Fenway Sports Group moved to identify a number of potential candidates for the manager's role. They approached Brendan Rodgers on 18 May 2012, however he initially rejected their advances, being unprepared to enter into competition with numerous other individuals. Over the next two weeks, FSG were purported to have reduced their shortlist to Wigan Athletic's Roberto Martinez and Rodgers, who they had not given up hope of persuading to hold talks with them. The club made it clear to Rodgers that he was their first-choice target and this encouraged him to engage in talks. Reports emerged of an agreement being close to completion between FSG and Rodgers late on 28 May and by 30 May, it was confirmed that Rodgers had agreed a three-year contract to move to Merseyside. Swansea were compensated a fee in the region of £7,000,000 by Liverpool.
Liverpool officially unveiled Rodgers as manager on 1 June 2012. Of his appointment, Rodgers said "I am very proud and feel very blessed to be appointed today. It's obviously a club with an incredible tradition and history and I'm very, very proud and honoured to be appointed manager." He also outlined his vision to help the club work towards claiming a first League title in over two decades, stating: "We might not be ready for the title now but the process begins today." Rodgers discussed his intention to develop Liverpool's play into a possession-based style, and described how he would like Liverpool's opponents to suffer 'death by football,' and find that playing against Liverpool would represent the toughest 90 minutes of their lives. Although not initially most fans' preferred choice to take over from Dalglish, many fans responded well to Rodgers' interviews and press conferences, and he received good early backing from the supporters, although some still felt he was too inexperienced to take on a club of Liverpool's stature.
Rodgers took Liverpool on a tour of North America before making his competitive managerial debut for the Reds on 2 August 2012. This came away to Belarussian side FC Gomel in the Europa League third qualifying round, and he guided his side to a 1-0 win thanks to a long-range Stewart Downing strike. The return leg marked Rodgers' Anfield debut, and his Liverpool team produced an electric display as they dispatched Gomel 3-0. Fabio Borini- who had been Rodgers' first buy as Liverpool manager- hit his first Liverpool goal in this game. Rodgers went on to make two further signings during the transfer window- his former Swansea midfield lynchpin Joe Allen on 10 August, and Moroccan winger Oussama Assaidi on 17 August, as well as the loan signing of Real Madrid midfielder Nuri Sahin.
In addition to the North American tour, Rodgers' first summer in charge of the Reds was marked by a TV documentary- Being Liverpool. This was a six-part fly-on-the-wall series that aimed to follow the club in their pre-season preparations. The documentary provided some moments that went on to become symbols of Rodgers' early Liverpool career, including his dressing-down of youngster Raheem Sterling, which was well-received as it painted the new manager as a figure of authority. Counting against him however was his use of three envelopes, that he showed to his team and claimed contained the names of the three players he thought would 'let the club down' during the upcoming season. This was a psychological ploy with no names written inside the envelopes, however it was met somewhat mockingly by the media and public. The series overall was not well-received and Rodgers would later discuss how it created an additional, unwelcome interference in his early work at the club. Some of his early detractors would revisit elements of the documentary to aid in their denegration of the new manager.
Rodgers took charge of his first Premier League game with Liverpool on 18 August. The match was away to West Brom, and unfortunately for Rodgers, he witnessed his team suffer a 3-0 defeat. Defender Daniel Agger was sent off in the match, and West Brom were awarded two penalties, of which they converted one. Rodgers called all three decisions 'harsh' and defended the performance of his team, but acknowledged his task to restore Liverpool to the elite of English football would be a difficult one.
After four more Premier League games without a victory- the first time Liverpool had failed to register a win in their first five League games since the 1911-12 season, Rodgers made a complaint to Mike Dean- head of the League's referees regarding what he felt was a string of poor officiating decisions that were costing his team points. It was also clear, however, that Rodgers' tactical demands were troubling some of his players, with his possession-based philosophy encouraging errors, particularly from the defenders that cost his team soft goals. On 29 September 2012 however, Rodgers achieved his first League win as Liverpool manager with a 5-2 victory away at Norwich City. He then guided the Reds to their first home League win of the season- a 1-0 victory over Rodgers' former club Reading on 20 October 2012.
On 31 October 2012, Rodgers led Liverpool against his former club Swansea for the first time, but was on the losing side as Swansea claimed a 3-1 win in the League Cup. On 9 December 2012, Rodgers won back-to-back Premier League games for the first time as Liverpool boss, with a 3-2 victory at West Ham following a 1-0 win against Southampton the week before. This win also brought Liverpool up to 10th in the Premier League table- the first time in the season Liverpool had found themselves in the top half. On 30 December 2012, Rodgers was forced to miss Liverpool's game away to QPR due to illness. His assistant Colin Pascoe deputised on the sidelines in the 3-0 win.
27 January 2013 brought arguably Rodgers' lowest point as Liverpool manager to date, as Liverpool crashed out of the FA Cup thanks to a shock 3-2 loss to League One side Oldham. Liverpool then bowed out of the Europa League on 21 February 2013 on away goals after drawing 3-3 on aggregate against Zenit St. Petersburg in the first knockout round. Following Liverpool's exits from the cup competitions, the team's Premier League form improved markedly, especially aided by the successful January signings Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho. Liverpool claimed 36 points from the last 19 games of the season and recorded some impressive victories, most notably the 6-0 away win over Newcastle on 27 April 2013.
Brendan Rodgers' first season in charge finished with Liverpool taking seventh place in the League. Perhaps most pleasing was the way in which Liverpool's goalscoring problems that had haunted them during the preceding seasons had seemingly been solved, as Liverpool registered 71 League goals- the fourth highest in the League. He was also able to help improve players who had failed to impress in recent seasons- notably Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Pepe Reina, who rediscovered his old form towards the end of the campaign. Despite this, Liverpool's poor performances in the cups and modest League position came under scrutiny by fans, meaning Rodgers still had some way to go to convince a section of the fanbase that he was indeed the right man for the job. He also came in for some criticism for failing to see his side claim many points against the League's stronger teams.
Rodgers' season was marked by a number of bold decisions. He handed debuts to seven of the club's academy players and placed a large amount of responsibility on youngsters Raheem Sterling, Andre Wisdom and Suso in the early part of the season. There were a number of occasions when Rodgers made tactical substitutions in the first half if he felt his team were struggling, however these changes were often successful. He also broke up the central defensive partnership of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger after seeing his team- and particularly Skrtel- be bullied too easily by strong centre forwards. He reintroduced the retiring Jamie Carragher as Agger's partner after the FA Cup tie with Oldham and kept Skrtel on the sidelines until the end of the season.
In the summer transfer window leading up to the 2013-14 season, in an effort to avoid the mistakes of the previous summer in which Rodgers let striker Andy Carroll leave without bringing in a replacement, Rodgers moved quickly to secure four new players- forwards Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto, experienced defender Kolo Toure- viewed as a replacement for Carragher, and goalkeeper Simon Mignolet. Mignolet's acquisition ultimately led to the controversial decision to loan out popular stalwart Pepe Reina to Napoli. Rodgers was keen to recruit a 'marquee' signing in the shape of a high-profile 'number 10' player to help the club's charge on the Champions League qualification places, however big-money moves for Shakhtar Donetsk's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Atletico Madrid's Diego Costa and Anzhi's Willian failed to materialise. His biggest signing of the window came on deadline day in the shape of centre back Mamadou Sakho, while Rodgers also added left back Aly Cissokho and forward Victor Moses on loan, plus the permanent signing of young defender Tiago Ilori.
Arguably Rodgers biggest challenge of the window however was attempting to keep hold of star player Luis Suarez. Suarez had publically stated his desire to leave the club on several occasions over the summer with Arsenal making a concerted effort to land the player. Rodgers stood firm on the matter however- even punishing Suarez by consigning him to solitary training for a period- and Suarez remained a Liverpool player, however question marks have been raised over the impact the saga has had on the pair's relationship.
Liverpool's 2013-14 pre season was encouraging as Liverpool won all bar one of their fixtures. The club carried this form into the new season as they took an early lead at the top of the Premier League table, having won all three of their opening matches- all by a score of 1-0, with Daniel Sturridge netting all three goals. The signings of Mignolet and Toure were quickly lauded by the Kop as Rodgers enjoyed a start to the season that was in stark contrast to the difficulties of his debut season. In recognition for this, Rodgers and Sturridge were awarded the Premier League Manager and Player of the Month awards respectively for August 2013.
Rodgers oversaw his Liverpool side complete the first half of the season in fifth place, six points behind leaders Arsenal. In many ways, he had seen his team exceed expectations with the Reds being spoken about not only as top 4 contenders, but also title challengers. His team continued to struggle against the supposed 'top teams,' with three of Liverpool's five losses in the first 19 games coming against Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea. He did however see his team record an impressive 5-0 away win over Tottenham Hotspur. The season to date had marked a shift in style for Rodgers, as he adopted a more flexible, pragmatic approach rather than rigidly sticking to his possession-based philosophy. He also switched formation to an unorthodox 3-5-2 for an extended period of time to make best use of his available players. He was however criticised for a lack of an impact from his summer signings. Only Sakho and Mignolet had fully established themselves in the team, with Aspas, Alberto, Moses, Cissokho and Ilori failing to make an impression. He was though able to take some pleasure in seeing Suarez perform a U-turn from the summer's events and sign a new long-term contract.
During the January transfer window, Rodgers revived his plans to sign a talented attacking midfielder. The club again failed however, as moves for Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah and Ukraine forward Yevhen Konoplyanka fell through. This left Rodgers with no new signings as he sought to lead Liverpool to Champions League qualification. The club made early progress on that front on 28 Janaury 2014, with a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Everton at Anfield in the 222nd Merseyside Derby. This was Liverpool's biggest victory over their local rivals since 1982.
Rodgers had begun to experiment with a diamond formation in midfield- one that made use of all four of his preferred attacking players in Raheem Sterling, Philippe Coutinho, Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez, whilst Jordan Henderson and captain Steven Gerrard sat behind. Rodgers elected to convert Gerrard into a deep-lying playmaker, occupying the defensive midfield role ahead of the Reds' more established defensive midfielder, Lucas. The tactical move proved to be a revelation with Gerrard going on to produce his best football in years, and on 8 February 2014, Rodgers witnessed his side destroy Arsenal 5-1 at Anfield, with the Reds racing to a 4-0 lead with barely 20 minutes on the clock. From here on, Liverpool went on an 11 game winning streak, with Rodgers displaying his tactical nous as he rotated between the diamond formation and a more traditional 4-3-3 with Joe Allen drafted in as required. The run eventually put Liverpool on top of the Premier League, and with a 3-2 victory over Manchester City on 13 April 2014, followed by a 3-2 win over Norwich a week later, Liverpool found themselves in pole position for the title with just three games to go. The club had already sealed Champions League qualification- this being confirmed with a 4-0 home win over Tottenham on 30 March 2014 with six games of the season still left to play. For his achievements, Rodgers won his second Manager of the Month accolade of the season, for March 2014.
Liverpool's rise represented an unexpected and unprecedented climb for a team that had spent the past four seasons in and around seventh place. Indeed, never before in Premier League history had a team risen from lower than third to win the title the following season. Liverpool required seven points from their final three matches to do exactly that, however they suffered a major blow on 27 April 2014 when they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Jose Mourinho's Chelsea at Anfield. The Reds were unlucky, as only a slip by Steven Gerrard allowed Chelsea to go 1-0 up, with their second coming from a counter attack deep in injury time while Liverpool had thrown everybody forward to try and snatch the equaliser. Rodgers was initially scathing of his former employer's tactics, describing Chelsea as having 'parked two buses' and employing unsporting timewasting tactics in an effort to stifle Liverpool. He eventually cooled on his criticism however with the pair maintaining their friendship. At this point, the title was Manchester City's to lose, and they went on to win all of their remaining matches to finish as Champions. Liverpool dropped further points away at Crystal Palace, with them letting a 3-0 lead slip with just 12 minutes remaining to draw 3-3. Although roundly praised for the scintilating attacking football Rodgers had brought to Liverpool, the team's defensive frailty came under increasing scrutiny and this reached it's peak in the aftermath of the draw at Selhurst Park- with the three Palace goals meaning Liverpool had now conceded 49 times during the season- the most a Liverpool team had ever conceded in a 38-game Premier League campaign. Rodgers acknowledged that there was a problem with Liverpool's defence, and suggested the primary cause was a lack of concentration from his defenders.
On the last day of the season, Liverpool beat Newcastle at Anfield to secure second place in the Premier League. Unfortunately, the cup competitions during this season had not provided the Reds with any additional success. In the League Cup, Rodgers saw his Liverpool side make a meal of defeating League One side Notts County at home in the second round- requiring extra time to prevail 4-2- before being knocked out away to Manchester United in the third round on 25 September 2013. In the FA Cup, the Reds defeated Oldham and Bournemouth before their challenge ended away to Arsenal- Liverpool falling to a 2-1 defeat in the fifth round.
Regardless, the strength of Liverpool's play under Rodgers won many admirers, and Rodgers was heavily backed to win the Manager of the Season prize. Unsurprisingly, he had overwhelmingly won almost complete support from the Liverpool fans, who could increasingly be heard singing his name from the stands as the season progressed. Not only was Rodgers commended for the improvement he had overseen at Liverpool, but for doing so with a relatively small pool of players from which he could pick- with only 19 making more than 10 appearances in all competitions throughout the season (although Rodgers himself drew some criticism for the lack of impact a number of his signings had made to date). Much speculation developed that Rodgers would be rewarded with a new contract at the conclusion of the season, amid some reports that he was even being considered by clubs such as Barcelona and Real Madrid, who had noted the impressive work he had done at Anfield. Liverpool broke several goalscoring records during this season, becoming one of only three sides in Premier League history to net over 100 goals in a season- and the first Liverpool side to achieve the feat since the 1895-96 season. The 48 away goals scored was a Premier League record, as were the 59 first half goals, as well as the fact that they had scored at least three goals in as many as 21 matches. Rodgers himself spoke of his pride at what Liverpool had achieved during the season, and discussed his hopes that the team would improve even further once reinforced in the transfer window.
On 6 May 2014, Liverpool hosted a prize-giving ceremony where the end-of-season awards such as Player of the Season were dished out. At the end of the ceremony, Rodgers was presented with a surprise award- an Outstanding Achievement Award- in recognition of the vast improvement in the Reds' league performances under his stewardship to date. On 12 May 2014, Rodgers was awarded the League Managers' Association Manager of the Season award. This was voted for by his fellow managers, and honoured him as the manager of the season across all four English football leagues. He is the first Liverpool manager ever to receive the accolade. On 26 May 2014, Liverpool announced that Rodgers had signed a contract extension, reportedly running until 2018.
Rodgers' summer recruiting activities kicked off in a similar vein to the previous summer, with the Reds making early moves for experienced striker Rickie Lambert and young midfielder Emre Can. On 1 July 2014, Rodgers was finally able to add the big-money attacking player he had pursued over the previous 12 months, coming in the shape of Southampton's England international Adam Lallana, whilst following this up with a £20,000,000 swoop for prodigious Serbian winger Lazar Markovic. He also recruited rising Belgian star Divock Origi from Lille to his ranks, although the young striker remained on loan in France for the coming season.
Rodgers did however acknowledge the need to shore up a defence that conceded a half-century of goals in the preceeding season, and moved for Southampton centre back Dejan Lovren in an attempt to add a commanding presence to his backline. He also added promising young Spanish full backs Javier Manquillo and Alberto Moreno to his ranks, from Atletico Madrid and Sevilla respectively- Manquillo in a loan-to-buy deal.
However, the transfer window dealt Brendan Rodgers a blow, as he would now have to mastermind the upcoming season without Luis Suarez- the star player who Rodgers had moulded his Liverpool team around- as he transferred to Barcelona for a club record £75,000,000. In his place, Rodgers reportedly attempted to add QPR's Loic Remy, but the deal fell through at the 11th hour- presumed to be due to a failed medical. Eventually, Liverpool turned their attentions to more high-profile striker targets and on 25 August 2014, tied up a deal for the highly-rated but controversial Italy forward Mario Balotelli. The deal caught the imagination of the Liverpool fanbase, though some suggested taming Balotelli would prove to be an even greater challenge for Rodgers' managerial skills than Luis Suarez.
During the 2014-15 pre-season, Rodgers took his Liverpool side on a tour of the USA to compete in the International Champions Cup alongside seven other renowned European teams. Liverpool finished as runners-up in the tournament, losing in the final to rivals Manchester United. However they concluded pre-season with an impressive 4-0 win at Anfield over German side Borussia Dortmund. On 17 August 2014, Rodgers guided his Liverpool side to a 2-1 home win over Southampton in Liverpool's first game of the 2014-15 season. After a humbling 3-1 loss away to Manchester City in the second game of the season, he guided his team to an impressive 3-0 victory away to Tottenham in the third on 31 August 2014. This marked Brendan Rodgers' 100th game in charge of Liverpool- interestingly matching the records of both Bill Shankly and Rafael Benitez with 56 victories during that time.
On 16 September 2014, Rodgers led Liverpool out in their first Champions League match for five years. The Reds faced Bulgarian side Ludogorets at Anfield and prevailed 2-1, with new signing Mario Balotelli hitting his maiden Liverpool goal in the process.
Unfortunately for Rodgers, Liverpool toiled in the early phase of the new season, struggling to find fluency in front of goal, whilst showing no signs of improvement defensively. As had occurred the season before, Rodgers' summer signings were criticised, particularly Dejan Lovren and Mario Balotelli for failing to improve Liverpool's defence or attack respectively, whilst fellow big money signings Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic were failing to impact the team at all. After 10 Premier League matches, Liverpool had already lost four games, compared with the six they lost during the entirety of the prior campaign. On 4 November 2014, Liverpool faced the formidable Real Madrid at the Bernabeu shortly after Madrid had swept Liverpool aside 3-0 at Anfield. Rodgers named a starting XI mostly comprising of his lesser-used players, with the wide-held assumption that Rodgers was resting his key players for the upcoming Premier League clash with Chelsea. Rodgers defended his selection in what transpired to be a 1-0 defeat, and although some agreed with the manager's logic, many criticised him for seemingly "giving up" before the game had even begun. Matters did not improve for Rodgers as Liverpool went on to also lose their match against Chelsea.
Liverpool continued to drop points over the coming games, with Rodgers losing the backing of increasing numbers of Liverpool's supporters. Fans were particularly disillusioned with Rodgers' continued selection of players such as Glen Johnson, Dejan Lovren and Steven Gerrard, all of whom were deemed to be consistently underperforming, while the team's defensive woes and lack of attacking prowess that had punctuated their season to date were failing to improve. In the run up to the Reds' tie with Stoke City on 29 November 2014, Rodgers suggested that he was now 'favourite for the sack,' but affirmed his belief that he would guide the team into the top 4 of the Premier League. For the game against Stoke, Rodgers made the bold decision to drop both his £20,000,000 man Dejan Lovren, as well as Steven Gerrard. Liverpool went on to secure an elusive clean sheet, recording a 1-0 win in the process- ironically with the much-maligned Glen Johnson scoring the winner.
On 9 December 2014, Rodgers saw his team crash out of the Champions League following a 1-1 draw with Basel at Anfield, with a win required to seal progression. Liverpool finished third in their group, thus qualifying for the Europa League instead.
Rodgers is an advocate of the possession-based football associated with Barcelona and the Spanish national team. He is keen for his team to be comprised of fast, technically-gifted footballers. His system places great tactical demands on his players, and it took some time for his Liverpool side to adapt to his style of play. Although the football his Liverpool side play is very aesthetically-pleasing and has often resulted in emphatic victories, there were initially concerns that Rodgers' side lacked height and a physical presence that saw them too easily repelled by teams playing a more aggressive, defensively-resolute style of football. Over time, Liverpool began to cope better with this type of opponent as Rodgers himself displayed greater tactical flexibility. Eventually, he developed his team into one playing blistering attacking football whilst easing off slightly on his demands for dominance of possession, however the drawback to this style of play appeared to be a leaky defence, with Liverpool conceding more goals during the otherwise successful 2013-14 season than they had done in any other 38-game Premier League campaign. Following the sale of star striker Luis Suarez, Rodgers seemed to drop his demands for the same degree of attacking proficiency and instead his team reverted back to playing a steadier, possession-based game.
- LMA Manager of the Season: 1 (2013-14)
- Premier League Manager of the Month: 2 (August 2013, March 2014)
- Liverpool F.C. Outstanding Achievement Award (2014)
|Competition||Total||Wins||Draws||Losses||Goals for||Goals against|
- Brendan Rodger's managerial stats at Soccerbase.
|Liverpool F.C. – managers|
| McKenna and Barclay (t) (1892–96) • Watson (t) (1896–1915) • Ashworth (t) (1919–23) • McQueen (t) (1923–28) • Patterson (t) (1928–36) • Kay (t) (1936–51) • Welsh (t) (1951–56) • Taylor (t) (1956–59) • Shankly (t) (1959–74) • Paisley (t) (1974–83) • Fagan (t) (1983–85) • Dalglish (t) (1985–91) • Moran (1991) (c) • Souness (t) (1991–94) • Evans (t) (1994–98) • Evans and Houllier (t) (1998) • Houllier (t) (1998–2004) • Benitez (t) (2004–10) • Hodgson (t) (2010–11) • Dalglish (t) (2011–12) • Rodgers (t) (2012-15) • Klopp (t) (2015-)
(c) - caretaker manager, (t) - transfers made by manager
|Liverpool F.C. – current squad|
| 1. Alisson • 2. Clyne • 3. Fabinho • 4. van Dijk • 5. Wijnaldum • 6. Lovren • 7. Milner • 8. Keita • 9. Firmino • 10. Mane •|
11. Salah • 12. Gomez • 13. Adrian • 14. Henderson (c) • 15. Oxlade-Chamberlain • 16. Grujic • 18. Minamino •
20. Lallana • 22. Lonergan • 23. Shaqiri • 24. Brewster • 26. Robertson • 27. Origi • 32. Matip • 47. Phillips • 48. Jones •
51. Hoever • 53. Ejaria • 54. Ojo • 55. Kane • 58. Woodburn • 59. Wilson • 62. Kelleher • 66. Alexander-Arnold •
67. Elliott • 68. Chirivella • 70. Larouci • 72. van den Berg • 76. Williams • GK Karius • MF Allan • FW Awoniyi