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Can Liverpool take advantage of managerial changes?

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Rodgers should be happy with his first season. (©GettyImages)
Rodgers should be happy with his first season. (©GettyImages).

If Brendan Rodger's Liverpool side wish to have a big say in next season's race for third and fourth spots, they will need to be quick out of the stalls at the start of the 2013/14 season.

A window of opportunity may be opening after the summer for Liverpool to take advantage of the switch in personnel at clubs above them.

Rodgers' opening season must be seen as the transitional ¬phase of his overall plan for the Reds. Liverpool will end this season minus a cup and one position higher than they found themselves at this time last year, with nine more points and it must be said that the foundation of Brendan Rodger's ideals and philosophies have been firmly put in place to push forward in 2013 and '14.

Big events have occurred in the Premier League in recent weeks with more sure to follow. The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and his replacement by David Moyes has sent shockwaves all through the world of football. The Ferguson era has ended and suddenly Manchester United do not see so formidable.

This is not to say Liverpool will be near challenging United next year, far from it. But what it does mean is the oppressive shadow of the man who succeeded in knocking Liverpool off their perch no longer hangs over the club and the cracks in United's team appear. 

This is not discrediting David Moyes, he is a fantastic manager who has brought Everton a long way with a modest budget, but he simply isn't Ferguson. No one is and that's the problem for United, the aura of Sir Alex Ferguson counted for a lot at times in his career.

Ferguson's retirement coincided with the sacking of Roberto Mancini and the apparent imminent appointment of Manuel Pellegrini as his replacement. Add this to the impending arrival of Jose Mourinho back at Chelsea and the outlook of next year's title race looks interesting indeed.

Unfortunately for Rodgers and his men, this doesn't concern them at this current time. It is the knock on effects that do though. The loss of Moyes will be a devastating blow to Everton. Liverpool's city rivals have relied on the consistency of Moyes's ability to acquire decent players on tight transfer budgets and both train and motivate average players to play as a solid team. A team that has now finished above Liverpool for two seasons.

Everton will struggle to find an adequate replacement for Moyes and their situation will be made all the worse if their former manager decides he wants to take Fellaini and Baines with him. Roberto Martinez seems to be the name being thrown around in the media lately and while he would surely do a good job for the Toffees, will he have the managerial calibre to maintain their lofty position in the league with a view to moving forward? Perhaps, but it will take time and after having the same manager at the helm for 11 years, Everton will need time to adjust to any incoming manager.

This is where Liverpool need to set their sights on first, taking back control of their own city and reclaiming the bragging rights as top dogs on Merseyside, although the importance goes much further than simply bragging rights, of course.

The transfer activity of Tottenham this summer will be of great interest to most teams in the league and Liverpool are no exception. In fact, many comparisons can be drawn between Spurs and Liverpool; both have young managers just finishing their first season, both have an enigmatic talisman who has led (some may say carried) their team's charge this season, in Bale and Suarez and both will have ambitions of regaining Champions League status next season. The failure to secure football in Europe's premier competition was a devastating blow to Spurs, especially after the heartbreak of last season and running Chelsea and Arsenal so close again this season.

The big question surrounding Spurs this summer will of course be the future of their Welsh star, Gareth Bale. Bale lit up the Premier League in the second half of the season claiming awards galore and his 21 goals in the league this season catapulted Spurs into the reckoning for a Champions League berth.

However, Bale's efforts were not enough and Tottenham fell just short of the mark leaving the PFA Player of the Year's future in North London in serious doubt. After the season Bale has had, it's natural that Europe's biggest clubs are circling like sharks around White Hart Lane and Spurs' failure to secure Champions League football will serve as the drop of blood in the water to send Europe's elite into a bidding frenzy for the Welshman.

Bale has been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United and Bayern Munich among others and his departure seems imminent. Bale's performances and his position as the media golden boy this season have assured Tottenham a generous transfer price if they do indeed sell their main man.

When looking at Luis Suarez's transfer situation, the whole bite-gate incident may turn out as a blessing in disguise for the Reds. Suarez's actions led to his further condemnation from every corner of the footballing world and his subsequent ten game ban have taken him out of the limelight, for a short time at least. Liverpool must hope that the transfer of Gareth Bale will turn into one of those summer-long transfer sagas that we have become so accustomed to witnessing, allowing their mercurial forward to slip under the radar and into next season.

If Bale does leave this summer, Tottenham will of course reinforce, but they will do well to find someone to replace a player with the quality of Bale. It is hard to deny that Bale's goals have won a phenomenal amount of points for Andre Villas Boas' side this season and without him the rest of the team have sometimes struggled for goals.

In Spurs' recent Goal of the Season Award, six out of the ten nominees were scored by the former Southampton player. It is imperative that AVB replaces Bale's goal scoring presence in the team, but if he doesn't, Spurs may falter next term and Liverpool should be ready to challenge their status.

Brendan Rodgers has his first season under his belt with Liverpool and the confusions above him next season will present his team with an opportunity they simply must seize.


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Topics:
Football
Liverpool
Premier League
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