Jump directly to the content

News Corp is a network of leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education, and information services.

DREAM TEAM

Your Sun

A News UK Company
TOP
LOOKS AT CAMERA

Brendan Rodgers overcomes David Brent phase to attain well-deserved respect

Sometimes the complaints will be false.

David Brent and Stephen Merchant wrote The Office years before Brendan Rodgers rose to prominence so there’s no way the Northern Irish tactician could have influenced the creation of David Brent.

And yet the similarities between the two have long been highlighted: unintentional comedy, cringeworthy quotes, a willingness to cross the boundary between parody and unbearable reality.

You’ve seen the vibe — chilled out

9
You’ve seen the vibe — chilled out

The comparison has never been malicious, but perhaps it’s time to leave the jokes in the past.

Rodgers is once again proving he’s a man who deserves to be taken seriously.

It’s well documented the current Leicester boss started his coaching career at Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho plucked Rodgers from relative obscurity and made him Head Youth Coach at the Blues’ blooming academy.

While there, he also gave Roman Abramovich’s 11-year-old son one-on-one coaching sessions.

You don’t need luck when you’ve got 71.4% of the population behind you

Getty - Contributor
9
You don’t need luck when you’ve got 71.4% of the population behind you

After rising through the ranks, he became manager of Watford – who were in the Championship at the time – and guided the Hornets to a respectable finish after a disastrous start to the 2008/09 season.

An indifferent spell at Reading lasted just six months before he made the switch to Swansea.

Liberty Stadium played host to the rise of Rodgers into the general footballing consciousness.

He guided the Swans to promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs before defying expectations in the top flight.

Pre-season favourites to be relegated, Rodgers’ Swansea finished 11th in their debut Premier League campaign.

Rodgers oversaw the second phase of the Swansealona revolution, which started with predecessor Paulo Sousa and continued under Roberto Martinez.

This era garnered Swansea many admirers for their tiki-taka style which saw the likes of Joe Allen and Leon Britton rival Xavi and Andres Iniesta in terms of passing stats from those playing in Europe’s top five leagues.

Lyrics man mainly. But the music came easy as well, so…

Getty Images - Getty
9
Lyrics man mainly. But the music came easy as well, so…

Rodgers’ final game in charge at Liberty Stadium was a 1-0 win over Liverpool in mid-May.

Two weeks later, Anfield chiefs announced him as the Reds’ new manager.

Rodgers’ reputation reached its highest peak on Merseyside when, in his second season, he seemed destined to lead Liverpool to their long-awaited first Premier League crown.

But the 2013/14 train derailed in spectacular fashion as Steven Gerrard’s slip and Crystanbul allowed Man City to snatch away the title at the death.

That’s good timing, innit. Telling me that today, the day of laughter

Getty Images - Getty
9
That’s good timing, innit. Telling me that today, the day of laughter

The hangover was brutal.

In 2014/15, Liverpool failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League and were eliminated from the Europa League at the round of 32 stage.

Defeats to Aston Villa and Chelsea in the semi-finals of the League Cup and FA Cup respectively – plus an underwhelming 6th-placed finish in the league – meant Rodgers became the first Liverpool gaffer since the 1950s not to win a trophy after three seasons at the helm.

He is also associated with a string of regrettable transfers: Fabio Borini, Iago Aspas, Simon Mignolet, Aly Cissokho, Rickie Lambert, Lazar Markovic, Javier Manquillo, Alberto Moreno, Mario Balotelli, Christian Benteke, and others.

Ooh, you’re hard. Showing off ‘cos of the…

Peter Powell - The Sun
9
Ooh, you’re hard. Showing off ‘cos of the…

A frustrating start to the 2015/16 campaign – where Liverpool made a habit of relinquishing leads – spelled the end for Rodgers at Anfield.

It was during the last year of his Liverpool reign when the Brent memes peaked in a way that can only happen when the individual concerned is associated with one of England’s biggest clubs.

The Channel 5 documentary ‘Being: Liverpool‘ exaggerated Rodgers’ more unpalatable moments.

There was the infamous envelope trick, where he announced to the players he had concealed the names of three individuals he believed would let the squad down over the course of the season.

Designed as an intensifier of focus (the envelopes were actually empty), the trick did not have the desired effect as Liverpool failed to win any of their first five league fixtures.

I bloody love football, don’t I?

Action Images - Reuters
9
I bloody love football, don’t I?

And there’s no denying some of his quotes could have been penned by a mischievous Gervais…

“We play with 11 men. Other teams play with ten men and a goalkeeper.”

“My biggest mentor is myself because I’ve had to study and that’s been my biggest influence.”

Rodgers’ redemption began in Glasgow, where – despite some European embarrassments – he orchestrated a period of dominance that was notable even for a team like Celtic.

An unbeaten run of 69 games set a new domestic record in Scotland and formed the core of the first ever ‘Double Treble’ in Scottish football.

Sorry, was that in your way?

PA:Press Association
9
Sorry, was that in your way?

Naturally, some questioned the credibility of Rodgers’ achievements in Scotland with Celtic unmatched in terms of resources domestically.

Few can doubt the impressive nature of his Leicester tenure to date.

Claude Puel proved this Foxes squad requires a certain level to management to play to their potential.

Jamie Vardy has been reinvented under Rodgers having clashed with Puel in 2018/19 to the extent he found himself on the bench.

The 32-year-old Englishman has since been reinstated as the focal point of Leicester’s attack and is currently leading the Golden Boot race.

You’ve charmed me

Reuters
9
You’ve charmed me

The Foxes currently occupy second-place in the table and have already opened up significant leads over Arsenal (nine points), Man United (ten points) and Spurs (12 points).

Harry Maguire’s departure hasn’t negatively impacted their defence in the slightest — no Premier League team have conceded fewer goals at this stage of the season.

And the recent team goals against Crystal Palace and Arsenal are evidence of Rodgers’ tactics at their entertaining best.

While Rodgers’ personality may have been the cause of amusement for some, his influence as a manager has caused a deserved shift in public opinion.

If you wanted dancing, you should have come to me

Getty - Contributor
9
If you wanted dancing, you should have come to me

The 46-year-old’s stock is at its highest right now but this leader is the same man who caught Mourinho’s eye 15 years ago, the same man who gave Swansea fans memories to last a lifetime, the same man who redefined success north of the border.

A good idea is a good idea, forever.


NEXT: Leicester 2019/20 vs Claudio Ranieri’s title-winners: another one of those combined XIs

 

CLAIM YOUR FREE £30 BET NOW