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Transfer Rater: Woodburn to Barcelona


Can Spurs beat bogey team Liverpool?

50-50 Challenge

Brendan Rogers

Latest Club: Liverpool

2014/2015 English Premier League

  • 38GP
  • 18Won
  • 8Draw
  • 12Lost


Previous Clubs: Watford, Reading, Swansea

Honours: Championship play-off final winner: 2011

Rodgers wrote himself into the history books when he took Swansea to the Premier League in 2011, making them the first Welsh side ever to achieve that feat. He made such an impact in his debut season in the top flight with his style of passing, possession football that Liverpool came calling for his services after sacking Kenny Dalglish in May 2012.

Rodgers rebuffed Liverpool's initial approach, but when the Reds returned for a second time the Northern Irishman was unable to resist the lure of joining what he described as a "footballing dynasty" and made the move on June 1.

His football career began as a player for Northern Ireland's Ballymena United of the IFA Premiership. He soon moved to Reading, where an injury forced him to retire from the game at the age of 20 without making a league appearance for the club.

His coaching career took off when, in 1995, he was hired as Academy manager of the Reading youth team. After being approached by Jose Mourinho, Rodgers joined the Portuguese boss at Chelsea in 2004 as youth team manager and it wasn't long before he was promoted to become manager of the Blues' reserve team in 2006.

After nearly five years in West London, Championship side Watford appointed Rodgers as their new manager in November 2008 - his first top-level managerial position.

But when Steve Coppell resigned as Reading manager in 2009, Rodgers emerged as the favourite to replace him. He distanced himself from the idea of leaving the Hornets, stating that his concentration was "fully on Watford". But despite earlier declaring loyalty to his club, and saying those claiming he would depart the club were "questioning his integrity", he opted to leave Watford for the Royals.

The Watford Supporters' Trust stated that their former manager's reputation was "severely damaged" in the eyes of the fans, but Rodgers' time at Reading was not a good one. He secured his first victory as Reading manager with a 5-1 win over League Two club Burton Albion in the first round of the League Cup but, after a poor run of form, he left by mutual consent on December 16.

Exactly seven months later, Rodgers was appointed manager of Championship team Swansea City. Wins in five out of the six league matches in February earned him the Football League Championship Manager of the Month award. It was an impressive achievement, and he ultimately secured Swansea's place in the Championship's end of season playoff for promotion into the Premier League, where a 4-2 win over Reading saw him seal the Swans' first appearance in the top flight since 1983.

His maiden Premier League campaign was a huge success as Swansea finished a comfortable 11th in the table and won many admirers for their neat, attractive football. Never one to doubt his own value, Rodgers applied for the vacancy at Liverpool shortly after the end of the season and reportedly wowed the club's owners with his professionalism and vision.

A move to Anfield was a massive career step for the ambitious Rodgers, who quickly set about trying to overhaul the team's style and approach. His first season was a work in progress, however, as the Reds finished seventh -- behind Merseyside rivals Everton.

What happened the following season was beyond even the most hardened of optimists however as, with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez freescoring and Steven Gerrard rolling back the years, Rodgers' Liverpool established themselves as Premier League title challengers. Without the shackles of European football, the Reds played superbly -- a 5-1 victory over Arsenal and 3-0 win at Old Trafford among the highlights -- but they fell just short in the race for the English league crown, Manchester City triumphing on the final day of the season.  

The departure of Luis Suarez in the summer of 2014 left Rodgers without his most dangerous weapon, but the confident Northern Irishman signed a number of players in his stead as he looked to take Liverpool to that elusive league title.  

Strengths: Rodgers has always been renowned for having unwavering self-belief and has been described as a tenacious worker during training sessions according to his players.

Weaknesses: His loyalty to former players has been labelled naive by some, with the signing of Joe Allen and Fabio Borini in his first summer at Anfield proving particularly uninspiring. His penchant for "management speak" has also raised a few eyebrows.

Career high: Guiding Liverpool to the brink of the Premier League title in 2013-14, despite being totally unfancied at the start of the season.

Career low: The spell at Reading in 2009 that saw him win just six games and lose 11, which sparked his dismissal in December after just 23 games in charge. Reflecting on his time at the club, Rodgers admits: "I made some mistakes."

Tactics: Rodgers tends to employ a 4-2-1-2-1 formation, placing emphasis on slick passing at a high tempo and giving his attackers a licence to move forward

Quotes: "My biggest mentor is myself, I've always felt. But I've just been fortunate enough [on] my journey to come across top British and European managers... Champions League winner [Jose Mourinho] and a World Cup winner [Luiz Felipe Scolari]. But my biggest mentor is myself because I've had to study, so that's been my biggest influence." Brendan Rogers, 2011.

Words: Mark Lomas and Chris Adams-Wall