Football

Liverpool's early performances show Brendan Rodgers has changed

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Liverpool, following tonight's 0-0 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates stadium, currently lie third in the Premier League, level on points with both Manchester United and Leicester City.

While it is much too early to say whether or not Brendan Rodgers' side turned a corner from a difficult 2014/15, in what is a make or break season for Rodgers, initial signs and performances can provide some optimism for Liverpool fans.

Firstly, what is arguably most impressive about Liverpool on the pitch so far this season is their defensive record.

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They have a new look back four with Nathaniel Clyne and Joe Gomez earning early places, as well as Dejan Lovren finally looking as though he may live up to his twenty million pound price tag, and the ever reliable Martin Skrtel there are signs that this back four could be a strong point for Liverpool.

Should this trend continue, it would buck those of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, in which Liverpool conceded 50 and 48 goals, too may goals particularly in a team short of talisman and top goalscorer Luis Suarez.

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Aside from the defensive improvements, Liverpool have recruited more wisely this season as opposed to last season. They have, on the whole, stuck to their philosophy under Fenway Sports Group of young and English, but seem to have added two more criterion to this.

One being Premier League experience, as is the case with Christian Benteke, Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner, or what the transfer committee view to be exceptional, as is seemingly the case with their new, exciting twenty-nine million pound man, Roberto Firmino.

Only the test of time will determine whether or not these signings can be viewed as successful or not, but what seem to be lessons learned in the transfer market can only benefit Liverpool in the long run.

Also, the style has changed. The possession game, tiki-taka, whatever you may want to call it, the style of football previously mentioned has only truly brought success in a star-studded Barcelona team.

While this seemed to be what Rodgers was working towards in his first two years as Liverpool manager, it seems he has now accepted that, at least in English football, this style of football, while easy on the eye, will not produce the results required.

At times during Liverpool's 2014/15 campaign this was evident, such as in the Capital One Cup semi final, where Liverpool showed more grit and fight, as opposed to guile and craft.

This could be said that Rodgers is now open to the idea of 'winning ugly' when a situation calls for it, this has it's critics but the key word is 'winning', and a serial winner, Jose Mourinho for example, will always be respected in the football community.

All in all, while it is early days, when Liverpool are closely analysed it does seem as though there is enough reason for Liverpool fans to hold some hope of achieving the Champions League position they covet, and possibly more, given a little luck...

Liverpool fans, has Brendan Rodgers changed as a manager this season? Or is it too early to make a judgement? Have your say below!

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Topics:
Football
Brendan Rodgers
Liverpool
Premier League

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