Maintain The Tactical Flexibility
One tool in Rodgers armoury last year was the ability for his team to switch formations almost at will. Whether chasing the game or trying to control the game and defend the lead, Rodgers even changed the team’s formation three times in one match. This ability to confuse the opposition often gave the Reds the upper hand during the course of the match.
more pressure to produce another 20-goal haul this season
With Daniel Sturridge likely to be the new focal point of the attack, Rodgers will have to find new ways to accommodate his increasing accumulation of advanced midfielders and playmakers. A 4-3-2-1 could be the next new tactic in line for the Reds, with possibly Sterling and Lallana behind Sturridge, or a conventional 4-2-3-1 with another new man, maybe Shaqiri, as the last offensive midfielder. Rodgers could even revert to a 4-4-2 with two deep midfielders (most probably Gerrard and Henderson) and two roaming wide men to support Sturridge and his strike partner.
As opponents now breath a sigh of relief with the knowledge they have one less huge threat to deal with, Rodgers will need to shift their focus to instantaneous in-game tactical switches to give his players that extra edge needed to triumph in tight games.
Lastly, Spend Wisely
This can not be emphasised well enough. Just a glance at how White Hart Lane dealt with their own Gareth Bale saga last season is a big case-in-point for Rodgers and the Reds’ higher management. No way can a team go out a replace one key player with ten players in the hope of them gelling instantly and making an impact. This isn’t Football Manager.
So far, it is comforting to see Rodgers spend on players with Premier League experience, that he knows somehow fits his philosophy and preferred style of play. Lallana is the type of skilful wide man he craved, while Rickie Lambert is as good ball technician as a ‘Plan B’. The potential arrival of Lovren further proves the need for proven Premier League experience. The return of Fabio Borini, with a full season fighting Premier League relegation under his belt, will boost Liverpool’s frontline and give Rodgers another option or two. That is also why Emre Can won’t be expected to make an immediate impact, as he will be given the time to learn the trade behind Gerrard, while competing for places slightly ahead in midfield with the likes of Allen and Henderson.
Either Rodgers goes for players with Premier League experience, or if he does decide to raid overseas markets, he needs to target proven talent, like the likes of Shaqiri. To be fair, Markovic signing is a gamble, but his physique might help him – though Nacer Chadli took pretty long to adapt to the rigours of the game even though he had an “English physique.
can markovic provide the spark to help fill suarez’s boots?
Obviously, Rodgers still needs to find a replacement for Suarez – someone who has Premier League experience and/or can hopefully score at least 15 goals a season. At the moment, the candidates for the ‘and’ category is few and far between. Swansea’s Wilfried Bony (16 PL goals) is the likeliest of candidates, though his price tag would put Rodgers off. Unsettled PSG forward Edison Cavani should be the type of calibre Rodgers aims for if he looks overseas. The worst Rodgers could do is to buy anyone (like Spurs and Roberto Soldado) and try to shoehorn him into the team just because he felt the need to buy a replacement.
Let’s face it – Rodgers knows it as well – the team will continue to be offensive, but they will play differently without Suarez, and so there is no point to scour for a like-for-like replacement.