Brendan Rodgers has opened up about the ‘pressure’ and ‘expectation’ of being Liverpool manager, while also suggesting he is a better manager now compared to his time on Merseyside.
The Northern Irishman took over at Liverpool from Kenny Dalglish in 2012 despite having just three years experience under his belt during spells in charge of Watford, Reading and Swansea City.
Rodgers spent just over three years in charge at Anfield and came as close as anyone to ending the club’s long wait for a league title in 2014, with Steven Gerrard’s now infamous slip against Chelsea halting the club’s momentum when they seemed on course to end their title drought.
He was eventually sacked in 2015, before spending two-and-a-half trophy-laden years in charge of Celtic, but returned to the Premier League in March, transforming Leicester into one of the divisions most in-form sides.
31 – Since Brendan Rodgers’ first game in charge in March, Leicester have won 31 points in the Premier League – only Liverpool (49) and Man City (43) have picked up more in this period. Accomplished. pic.twitter.com/5BYX4sKoDn
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 29, 2019
The 46-year-old has now suggested that he is a better manager now than he was during his spell at Anfield, as well as discussing the ‘pressure’ and ‘expectation’ that is placed upon Liverpool managers.
“When I look at it now, with over 500 games as a manager, I think, ‘Christ I was three years as a manager before I was at Liverpool’,” Rodgers told Jamie Carragher during an interview for The Telegraph.
“Obviously at that time you are confident about doing it. It was an opportunity I could not turn down. But when you look back it is very young to be going into a job of that magnitude. I felt I was ready to do it.
“What I have learned as the years go by is, like a wine, you get better with age. Only when you go into club of that size – or even when you go on pre-season with Liverpool – you understand the scale of it. When you get 94,000 people at a game in Australia you see it. It did not frighten me. I wanted to enjoy it.
“But one of the things I took from Liverpool is this; you think you are ready when you go in but only when you come away do you see how you deal with pressure. When you are younger as a manager you want to show you are not under pressure. Actually the best way to cope is to accept you are under pressure and what you have to do is regulate that pressure and find a filter for it. Make sure it does not affect you so much.
“When you are working for the big clubs – at an elite level – it is always going to be there. I think since 2015 I deal with it much better. That just comes from experience. I hope to be coaching for another 20 years but I knew after being at Liverpool I could manage any club in the world.
“No matter where you go after Liverpool, there are never going to be more expectations than there are at Anfield. It was a great part of my journey and it made me a better manager.”
See also – 20 of Brendan Rodgers best quotes ever