The 2012/2013 season will see many of the Premier League’s big guns entering the new campaign with teams that barely resemble those of last season. Liverpool are a major talking point due to the appointment of Swansea’s passing football pioneer Brendan Rodgers.
While some are tipping Liverpool to blossom under Rodgers’s tutelage, others predict he may out of his depth in trying to transform Swansea’s defensive minded version of Tiki-Taka into an attack-minded incarnation that can challenge for European and domestic honours.
Swansea’s game was built around damage limitation. They kept the ball at all costs, they were never keen to try anything too adventurous, and sideways/backwards passes were the hallmark of their game. Playing Tiki-Taka in your own half is a much different prospect to playing it on the front-foot as Barcelona and other well-versed continental teams do.
Jose Enrique has already voiced his approval of Rodgers’s appointment. Players like Enrique, Joe Allen and Luis Suarez are naturally neat on the ball; other players like Steven Gerrard and Charlie Adam more resemble English playmakers who look for the decisive ball and magic moments, instead of passing and moving.
Technique is the key to the continental style passing game. Technique in the form of relentless clever movement and one touch perfect control. It’s a game that requires players playing for each other rather than players who yearn for solo impact and stardom.
Rodgers’ tenure at Liverpool may well revolutionise the English game if he is successful, but his unswerving commitment to the passing game could also be his undoing. Sometimes teams need a pragmatic English game with a cross and a header as a backup plan; refer to Andres Villas Boas stint at Chelsea. Liverpool could show up as decent Europa League contenders this season, worth a bet at one of the many sports bookers on the internet.
Liverpool will be hard to beat as a cup side due to their prophesised ball retention skills, so could be good candidates for a Europa League run. Rodgers continental style game that may be better suited to the Europa League than the Premier League.
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