An Ode to Brendan Rodgers

An Ode to Brendan Rodgers
Mar 20, 2016

Swansea

He surely wouldn’t come back; or would he? Never mind that anyway, here’s my tribute to the man who led the Swans to the promised land. 

Joining Swansea, around mid July 2010, after short spells at Watford and then Reading, I believe it is fair to state that Brendan Rodgers was still seen as an unknown managerial quantity.

Since he joined the Swans before the season started, Rodgers had time to plan. One of his first signings was that of Leon Britton for £400,000, who is now arguably a club hero and is still around the first team Premier League squad to this very date. Alongside Britton, Rodgers made the signing of Scott Sinclair, from Chelsea for an eventual fee of around £1,500,000: these two signings outlined his philosophies with Sinclair spearheading a pace driven attack and Britton in the centre, crucial to the possession based game that Rodgers insisted on playing.

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Britton (left) and Sinclair (middle) were pivotal for Rodgers’ Swansea promotion push

In his first season at the helm of the Swans, Rodgers steered his side to the play offs, securing their position by beating Ipswich 4-1 at the Liberty Stadium. Rodgers’ and Swansea’s first playoff victims were Nottingham Forest, even though the Reds were favourites; they were comfortably ushered out of the way, to make way for Swansea’s playoff final entry.

In the final, the Swans came up against their bosses’ old side, Reading: this was the biggest stage Swansea had ever been on – step up Scott Sinclair, as aforementioned, one of Rodgers’ very first signings. The half winger, half striker, added his name to the illusive list of players to score a hat-trick at the new Wembley Stadium, and ensured his side defeated Reading 4-2; meaning the Swans were the first ever Welsh side to be promoted to the Premier League. In addition to this, Brendan Rodgers was also credited by the media for his attempts, post-match, to console former colleague John Madejski (owner of Reading F.C.).

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Rodgers celebrating his Wembley victory

The following season, Swansea’s first ever Premier League campaign, was extremely successful, guiding them to 11th position after 38 games; despite being tipped as favourites to go down at the start of the season. January has to go down as Rodgers’ best month at the club, as it saw them claim their first away win at Aston Villa, but also take points off Arsenal and Chelsea, beating the former 3-2 and drawing with the latter 1-1 – for these heroic efforts, Rodgers won his first ever Premier League Manager of the Month Award.

His first Premier League season success is in no part down to “beginner’s luck” or the fact that Swansea were an unknown side when they came up – however, great credit has to go to his efficient dealings in the transfer market, yet again.

His signing of Michel Vorm (for £1,500,000) was at first questioned, but quickly the critics decisions were rectified as some began to hail him as one of the signings of the season. Amongst the other signings were Wayne Routledge who consistently performed week in, week out and Gylfi Sigurdsson. The signing of the latter was only on a temporary basis, however, Rodgers was the first to bring Sigurdsson to the club and to this day he still remains a firm favourite at the club.

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One of Rodgers’ best singings, the Dutchman turned into one of the Premier League’s elite shot stoppers

Sadly, even after signing a new contract, which was due to last until 2015, Rodgers and Swansea parted ways as Rodgers left the Welsh side to join one of the corner stones of the Premier League; Liverpool.

Rodgers’ Liverpool career didn’t go as well as he would have liked, presumably. Although, he did nearly lead the Scouse side to their first ever Premier League title – only to be pipped at last minute by Manchester City, as Liverpool fell at the last hurdle.

Yet, ask any Swansea fan, Rodgers would be welcomed back with open arms; there may even be a distinct possibility that this may happen due to the fact he was sacked and replaced for Jurgen Klopp by Liverpool, meaning the Northern Irish born former defender is out of work, and with the current Swansea side underperforming, perhaps this move could be on, it will be interesting to see what the future holds.

 

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