I'll preempt this and say I don't intend for this to be a vicious debate about Benitez, an attack on Rodgers or anything along those lines.
When watching the match, talking to fans or reading comments from journalists or fans all I seem to hear is the term 'Rodgers style' or 'the Rodgers way' of playing (It's getting a tad annoying, but that has nothing to do with this). I'm not a massive footballing person, I love the club but I have no real technical knowledge of the game, luckily there's a lot of insightful discussion here to fill the gap.
What I am wondering here is, how is the style different to that of Rafa's? From my understanding the philosophy was more or less the same, pass the ball a lot, keep possession and eventually a chance will come. Am I looking at this too simplistically? Plenty have said that our players need to adjust to this system, but for those of Rafa's regime surely they are quite familiar with the setup, of course I know it's not quite that simple.
If anyone could educate me I'd be grateful
There are some important differences to the two men. And not many of Rafa's regular players are still at the club.
For me, the main difference in approach is that Rafa was a tactician, he'd look at the opposition, the shape of the game, what was working and what wasn't, and he'd adjust, tweak and rethink, over and over. He wanted a squad that included all sorts of players, who could swap positions and change formations mid-game.
"Possibilities" was the watch-word, different types of player offered different tactical strategies, different ways to outfox the opponent. If something didn't work, Rafa was quick to change it and move on. His team selections were notoriously unpredictable, not because he was indecisive - far from it - but because he liked to make the other team guess, to make it hard for them to plan how to play against his side.
This may, in retrospect, have been a flaw; he treated other managers as though they were playing the same sort of game, which just isn't how many English coaches approach football, sadly.
The 4-2-3-1 formation we grew to associate with Benitez' Liverpool only arrived during a period of experimentation, a way to get the best out of Torres and Gerrard that allowed Kuyt to do what he did best and still gave us enough bodies to keep control in the middle. There was little sign that he planned us to adopt that before he did, and no reason at the time to assume it would be any more permanent than any other way we'd lined up over the previous three years.
Rodgers, on the other hand, is a man married to a philosophy of football. He knows exactly how he wants the team to line up, the shape he wants to play, and the way he wants the lads to use the ball. Broadly, his philosophy is not a million miles from Rafa's, keep possession, work openings, press when the other side has the ball, all good tactics. Rodgers though, has a sort of "playbook" in mind, he knows where each player should be looking to play his next pass to maximise numbers and opportunities. He knows when and where we should be trying to win the ball back. He wants a far more formulaic system in play, the players as cogs in a mighty machine. It demands more mentally of the players, but it puts more emphasis on the team.
In this way, at least, he's more in the tradition of British managers: This is how we'll play, don't worry about the other side, let them worry about us.
At least, that's how I'm seeing it.