Brendan Rodgers was appointed
Liverpool manager on Friday with the Premier League club's
American owners hailing him as the man with the vision and flair
to bring back the glory days to Anfield.
The former Swansea City boss, who had initially turned down
one of the hottest jobs in English football, replaces Kenny
Dalglish after the Scot was sacked in the wake of a
disappointing eighth place finish last season.
Rodgers, only the 18th manager in the club's 120-year
history, said he would dedicate his life to fight for Liverpool
and defend its principles on and off the field.
"We might not be ready for the title now but the process
begins today and it's a new cycle," he told a news conference at
Liverpool chairman Tom Werner said the 39-year-old was "our
first choice and the right choice".
"A forward thinking coach at the forefront of a new
generation of managers, he will bring to Liverpool a style of
attacking, relentless football," he declared.
"Our common goal is to see Liverpool play among the best
teams in Europe and be the best team in England. We believe this
appointment today will put us on the path to achieving the goals
we all want at Liverpool."
Liverpool's main owner John Henry added in a statement that
nobody was expecting an overnight miracle.
"But we firmly believe that the direction the club is
heading in will lead to Premier League championships," he added.
Swansea had announced on Wednesday that Rodgers had been
offered the Liverpool job subject to compensation being agreed
with the Welsh club. That was settled on Thursday.
"I'm blessed to be given this opportunity," said Rodgers,
who has a 20-year career in coaching behind him including a
stint with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea despite his relative youth.
"This is a long-term [project]. That was important to me, to
come in to a project that is going to be over a number of
years," he added.
"For me first and foremost it is to defend the principles of
this great club which is about offensive and creative football
but with tactical discipline."
Rodgers, who turned down an offer to talk to Liverpool
earlier this month when the club's owners then held discussions
with Wigan Athletic manager Roberto Martinez, made clear he
could not have accepted a director of football over him.
"That was something I made clear I couldn't work with," he
told reporters. "What you need is an outstanding team. We will
form a technical board that will have four or five people that
will decide the way forward."
Dutchman Louis van Gaal had been linked in the media with
replacing departed sporting director Damien Comolli but
Liverpool now look set to move forward without one.
Northern Irishman Rodgers said his initial rejection of
Liverpool, five times champions of Europe, had been out of
respect for his previous employers.
Rodgers guided Swansea to a respectable 11th place finish in
the Premier League last season, their first campaign at the
highest level since 1983.
He led the club to promotion from the Championship via the play-offs after moving to Swansea in 2010
following spells in charge of Watford and Reading.
Liverpool have been searching for a replacement for
Dalglish, whose second spell in charge at Anfield ended after
their worst league finish for almost 20 years.
Dalglish did steer Liverpool to a League Cup triumph and an
FA Cup final appearance last season but the club are desperate
to get back into the top four and mount a title challenge.
"Brendan Rodgers's appointment today as manager of Liverpool
Football Club is one of the most important steps we will take in
building the kind of club on and off the pitch supporters can be
excited about." Henry said.
"Brendan's comprehensive football philosophy is perfectly
aligned with those at the club and those soon to join the club.
He was the first choice unanimously among them and he had no
hesitation at all in embracing exactly what we want to try to
build at Liverpool."
Once the dominant force in English football, Liverpool have
not won the championship since 1990.
They finished the 2011/12 campaign 37 points behind
champions Manchester City and recorded their fewest wins (14) in
a top flight season since 1953/54.
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