Risky business: Rodgers is the biggest gamble Liverpool have ever taken
John W Henry may have proved he doesn't understand the soul of the club by hiring the young, relatively untried Swansea boss, says Mark Lawrenson
Brendan Rodgers is the biggest gamble in the history of Liverpool Football Club.
Untried, untested and young. Itís an incredible throw of the dice and perhaps illustrates that the American owners do not understand the soul or heartbeat of the club.
Look at the managers down the years. Bob Paisley followed by Shanks, Joe Fagan, Roy Evans and then latterly Gerard Houllier.
Even Graeme Souness was not seen as a gamble at the time because he played for the club, won trophies at Anfield and came in with experience.
Kenny Dalglish was and always will be worshipped. Houllier had experience while the majority of the others came up through the ranks, understood what Liverpool meant and were educated in the boot room.
Dalglish was a former player, a hero, a God. He won the Carling Cup, got Liverpool into Europe and yet was sacked - presumably for not getting into the top four.
what is Rodgersí job requirement?
If you ask me, looking at the squad as it is now, it is IMPOSSIBLE for Liverpool to get into the top four next season.
What will constitute a good season? Finishing sixth. But surely, under the current guidelines, that is not enough for this set-up.
Managing Swansea is one thing but Liverpool quite another. This is not just another former player talking about the boot room.
It is dangerous to underestimate the supporters. They will back Rodgers, support him and give him everything.
But thereís still an aura and an atmosphere at Anfield.
Thereís an expectancy, tradition and a demand at Liverpool, and Iím not sure John W Henry and Fenway Sports Group understand that.
Hicks and Gillett were a nightmare. They ran the club to the brink and, while the new owners have the right motives, I donít think they get the philosophy of the club.
Liverpool are at a crossroads. Everton finished above Liverpool. There are players coming through but are they going to be the next Steven Gerrard?
Some, like Raheem Sterling, have such great promise. But Liverpool need results and improvements now.
These are tough times ahead. The Europa League. Thursdays and Sundays. Thatís a tall order to cope with.
Rodgers is a good coach and played lovely football at Swansea. But Dalglish did that at times last season and is a good coach.
They have set the bar so high.
Dalglish didnít make top four, and that saw the end of him. And the longer you stay out of the top four, the harder it becomes to break back in.
It is so tough, especially with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and United trying so hard and breaking the bank to maintain success.
Liverpool canít compete with that financially. The sort of money afforded to sign players last summer will not be there this time. So Rodgers must turn it around on a limited budget - and that is a huge task.
Liverpool made some bad buys and in the modern game having a director of football or senior figure above should not worry a manager.
Damien Comolli worked well with Dalglish. Louis van Gaal could do well with Rodgers. In these times you need someone to identify players and go and sign them.
But Liverpool just seem to keep getting it wrong.
The Americans have handled the managerial change badly. They underestimated how popular Dalglish was and is.
They have removed a club legend for a managerial rookie.
Rodgers has done really well at Swansea, grew up at Chelsea and graduated from there.
He has played good football at Swansea, but players can also dictate how you play.
Itís not all about how you play at Anfield, because results are paramount.
Rodgers has so much to prove, so much work to do and Liverpool are taking a huge gamble when, after recent failures and setbacks, they cannot afford another mistake.http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/brendan-rodgers-as-liverpool-manager-is-the-biggest-854526