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International Soccer
By Tim Keeble, Soccer Editor - Archive - Email
Patience is needed at Liverpool
Brendan Rodgers established himself as a hot managerial commodities last season.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's safe to say new Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers probably imagined his debut going a little differently.

But on a day when his former team, Swansea City, rolled to a 5-0 victory against QPR, Rodgers watched his new side stumble to a 3-0 defeat at West Bromwich.

And as if he didn't already fully grasp how different the Liverpool job is, he surely understands it now.

Rodgers established himself as one of the hottest managerial commodities last season by guiding Swansea to an 11th-place finish in its first season in the top flight.

The Swans were praised for their attractive, attacking style and Rodgers received massive amounts of credit for putting together such a successful campaign.

But on Saturday, he got to experience just how unforgiving life can be for the manager of Liverpool.

Taking over one of England's most historically successful clubs has obvious benefits, such as a bump in salary. But it also comes with certain demands, which are usually not in line with reality.

The club is extremely proud of its 18 league titles and five European Cups. However, the glorious past of the team is a far cry from where they currently find themselves.

Liverpool's last league title came in 1990 - just before the formation of the Premier League - and if Saturday's defeat is any indication, the Reds are not likely to add to that total this season.

The Anfield faithful got all worked up when club legend Kenny Dalglish returned to the sideline and appeared to have the team on track toward restoring its past glory.

However, they quickly came crashing back to Earth after finishing in eighth place.

Dalglish was shown the door, the club curbed some of its spending in the transfer market and now it's time for Rodgers to be given a chance to make his mark on the team.

Former Swansea man Joe Allen and Roma striker Fabio Borini were the new additions at Anfield this summer. They might not steal headlines, but they should fit into Rodgers' system well.

The result against West Brom was disappointing considering the Baggies are likely a bottom-half team this season, and that Liverpool will face potential top-four sides in Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United over the course of the next month.

It all adds up to a potentially worrying place in the league table for Liverpool fans when September comes to a close. And if that is the case, you can bet the calls for Rodgers' head won't be too far behind.

But instead of focusing on the numerous negatives from Saturday's loss, Rodgers chose to remain upbeat.

"It was a bad day at the office for us, but I thought we showed signs, particularly in the first half, that the players have coped very well with the ideas," the boss said after the game.

That type of positive outlook will serve Rodgers well in the coming weeks as the road only figures to get tougher.

A slow start will bring about pressure and frustration. But if the club is committed to turning things around, Rodgers will be given the chance to make it happen.

The 1970s and 80s were glorious times in the history of Liverpool, but they are just that - history.

Saturday's 3-0 defeat was ugly and not the way that Rodgers or Liverpool fans envisioned the season starting.

However, it is only one game.

Patience, not panic, is what is required at Liverpool right now.

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