Liverpool news Brendan Rodgers first Liverpool team and what happened next MetiNews.Com
MetiNews.Com - The first competitive match with Brendan Rodgers in charge of Liverpool took place eight years ago today
Breaking News ! More often than not, football managers tend to arrive at a new club with a rebuilding job on their hands. There are occasions when a new boss will find only minor tinkering is required but generally the incoming gaffer has been brought in because club power-brokers want a change in direction and this was certainly the case when Brendan Rodgers arrived at Liverpool in the summer of 2012. It should be remembered that the previous season had seen Kenny Dalglish end the six-year wait for a trophy when the League Cup was secured after a penalty shoot-out triumph over Cardiff City and also reach the FA Cup final where they were narrowly beaten by Chelsea. But a poor league campaign which saw Liverpool finish eighth - losing 11 out of 19 matches in the second-half of the season - resulted in FSG deciding to part company with the iconic Scot and appoint Rodgers, who had led Swansea to a mid-table Premier League finish after promotion. Read More Related Articles Where are they now? The Liverpool team from Brendan Rodgers' last game in charge Read More Related Articles Roy Hodgson's shocking first Liverpool team and what happened to them Rodgers was deprived of some of his international stars because of Euro 2012 but England's quarter-final exit to Italy meant captain Steven Gerrard was back in contention by the time of his first competitive game, away to FC Gomel in Belarus in a Europa League third round qualifier. Stewart Downing's 67th minute strike gave Liverpool a 1-0 win that night but who else were involved? And what happened next? Brad Jones - The Australian stood in for the absent Reina - who was away helping Spain to Euro 2012 glory - less than three months after being part of a suspension-hit Liverpool side which had beaten Everton in the FA Cup semi final at Wembley, despite being third-choice for much of the season. This was to prove by far the most prolific season in terms of appearances of his Anfield career, making 15 starts out of an LFC career tally of 27, and he signed a new contract in December 2012. He only made three more appearances after 2012/13 however and signed for Bradford City after being released by Liverpool in 2015. After a short spell with NEC in Holland, he joined Feyenoord and kept 14 clean sheets when helping the Dutch side to their first league title in 18 years in 2016/17. Last heard of playing for Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia. Glen Johnson - The Londoner was well-established at this point as Liverpool and England's right back following his £17.5m move from Portsmouth three summers earlier. He would remain at Anfield for another three seasons, playing his part in the side which came so close to the title in 2013/14 before joining Stoke. He stayed three years in the Potteries before announcing his retirement in January 2019 and now works a media pundit. Read More Related Articles Nike VP explains design process around new Liverpool home kit Read More Related Articles Harvey Elliott describes his journey to Liverpool and aims for future Jose Enrique - The Spanish left back was the start of his second season at Anfield having joined from Newcastle United the previous summer for £7m. He would stay at the club another four years but only made 21 appearances in his final three seasons being hampered by a persistent knee injury, joining Real Zaragoza after being released from his contract. Two years later he was diagnosed with chordoma, a rare brain tumour, but happily has now made a full recovery. Jamie Carragher - This was a landmark night for the Liverpool legend, with him captaining the side on his 700th competitive first-team appearance for the club. It was to be prove to be his last season at Anfield as he announced the following February he was going to retire to take a tv punditry role with Sky Sports. He marked his final game against QPR by thundering a shot against the post from 35 yards to finish with a modest tally of five goals in 737 appearances, putting him second in the club's all-time ledger of games played behind Ian Callaghan. Read More Related Articles 23 Carra Gold: Jamie Carragher's most memorable Liverpool FC moments Read More Related Articles The 'new' Kop's twenty six most memorable moments ranked Martin Skrtel - The Slovakian stopper enjoyed his best season the previous campaign since arriving from Zenit St Petersburg for £8.5m in January 2008 and his burgeoning partnership with Daniel Agger may well have been one reason behind Jamie Carragher's imminent retirement. The 27-year-old would sign a new long-term contract at Anfield just a few weeks after the Gomel game and he remained a mainstay in the Reds' rearguard for the next three seasons, signing another new deal in the summer of 2015. He only made 22 starts the following campaign and signed for Fenerbache the following summer, where he stayed three years. In the summer of 2019, he joined Italian club Atalanta only to have his contract terminated three weeks later by mutual consent. He joined İstanbul Başakşehir instead and earlier this summer helped them win the Turkish league for the first time in their history. Steven Gerrard - Already regarded by many by this stage in his career as one of the finest players in Liverpool's history, the Huyton-born midfielder was about to embark on the Indian summer career. The following season, with Rodgers having reengineered the side tactically to have Gerrard pulling the strings from a deeper role, Liverpool embarked on a remarkable 11-game winning run which took them to the brink of the Premier League title only for an unfortunate slip from the skipper to lead to a costly home defeat to Chelsea and ultimately another league title near-miss. Midway through the following season, Gerrard announced he would leave Anfield in the summer of 2015 to join LA Galaxy in the United States and he finished his playing career there. He rejoined Liverpool as an Academy coach in January 2017 before leaving to become manager of Glasgow Rangers in June 2018.
. I've lived my dreams'
Joe Cole - The Londoner had joined Liverpool on a free transfer two summers earlier as a multiple-title winning international from Chelsea at the age of only 28 but his Anfield career had never taken off after being sent off on his league debut at home to Arsenal. He hadn't made a single first-team appearance during the previous campaign and injury woes were to strike again when he was forced off after only 23 minutes in Belarus. He made only five more appearances for Liverpool before returining to his first club West Ham the following January on a free transfer. He finished his career in England with spells at Aston Villa and Coventry City before joining Tommy Smith's old team, Tampa Bay Rowdies in the North American Soccer League. Now an Academy coach at Chelsea and tv pundit. Jordan Henderson - The jury was still very much out on the 21-year-old midfielder who had only arrived the previous summer from Sunderland for £16m and this was the summer when Brendan Rodgers told him he was prepared to let him go to Fulham in exchange for American forward Clint Dempsey. The determined north-easterner however said he wanted to stay and fight for his place at Anfield, and it has become one of the greatest stories in Liverpool's long decorated history how Henderson proved his many critics wrong by first establishing himself in the team, succeeding Steven Gerrard as club captain, lifting Liverpool's sixth European Cup in Madrid last summer and - having also held aloft the UEFA Super Cup and World Club Cup - last month become the first Liverpool skipper to raise the league championship trophy since Alan Hansen in 1990.
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Henderson couldn't be stopped
Stewart Downing - Liverpool's matchwinner that night in Gomel had largely flattered to deceive since his £18.5m move from Middlesbrough the previous summer but, having curiously saved most of his best performances for the Reds' biggest cup games, the sight of him spearing home a 25-yarder in Belarus raised hopes the 28-year-old may now go on to fulfill his undoubted potential. He went on to make 45 appearances that season under Rodgers, scoring four further times, without ever truly convincing and was sold to West Ham the following summer, where he stayed two seasons before returning home to Middlesbrough. He helped them back into the top flight in 2016 and signed for Blackburn Rovers in the summer of 2019. Jay Spearing - The Wallasey-born midfielder had emerged from the Reds' Academy and was captain of Liverpool's u-18 team which won the second of successive FA Youth Cups in 2007 and also won the FA Premier Reserve League title the following year under Gary Ablett. After making a brief pair of substitute appearances in Europe under Rafa Benitez in 2008/09, Roy Hodgson gave him a couple of run-outs before Kenny Dalglish took a shine to him and he racked up 45 appearances in the two seasons preceding Rodgers' appointment. After starting in Gomel and at Hearts in the ensuing Europa League play-off later the same month, the arrival of Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin to bolster the Reds midfield saw him loaned out to Bolton Wanderers with the deal being permanent the following summer. He spent four years at the Reebok before joining Blackpool in 2017 where he became club captain before leaving this summer having failed to agree terms on a new contract.
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Fabio Borini - The Italian was Rodgers' first signing as Liverpool manager and scored his first Reds goal in the second leg against Gomel a week later. His second didn't arrive until late April however and after only making 20 appearances, not helped by a broken foot against Manchester United early in the campaign - he was sent on a season-long loan to Sunderland and helped the Mackems avoid relegation. Despite Liverpool accepting an offer from Sunderland to make the deal permanent, Borini opted to stay at Anfield but struggled to get in the team, scoring just once more in a 2-0 win at Aston Villa in 2015 before finally rejoining Sunderland for good that summer. He returned to Italy with AC Milan in July 2018 and then joined Hellas Verona on a free transfer in January this year. Substitutes - Raheem Sterling (replaced Joe Cole on 23) The 17-year-old had won rave reviews for his performances in the Reds' youth teams and Dalglish had given him a handful of a substitute appearances at the back end of the previous season. It would be the following season before he established himself fully in the side but he played a major role in the run which took Rodgers' side to the brink of the title, rapidly confirming himself as one of the best young attacking players in the country. The following season's decline led to a breakdown in the relationship between player and manager and he joined Manchester City for £50m in the summer of 2015. He has a won a series of medals at the Etihad including two Premier League titles but never managed to score against Liverpool until the match last month after the Reds had been confirmed as champions. Martin Kelly (replaced Glen Johnson on 46) The Whiston-born defender had made 43 appearances over the previous two seasons having come through the Academy and would go on to start four of the Reds' first five Premier League matches this season before suffering a serious knee injury against Manchester United in the September. He signed a new contract the following January but only made eight more appearances before joining Crystal Palace for a reported £2m fee in the summer of 2014. While still picking up perhaps more than his fair share of injuries, he has been a defensive stalwart at Selhurst Park, signing a new contract there early last year.
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Lucas Leiva (replaced Jordan Henderson on 66) The Brazilian midfielder had been in the best form of his Liverpool career following his arrival from Gremio in 2007 when he was cut down with a serious knee injury in a League Cup tie the previous Decemeber at Chelsea. Another injury in only the second Premier League match of 2012/13 kept him out of the first-team picture for another three months but he gradually got back to fitness and proved to be invaluable squad member for Rodgers and particularly Jurgen Klopp in his early seasons, who paid tribute to Lucas' attitude and professionalism when he left to join Lazio in the summer of 2017. *Sign up for our free daily Liverpool newsletter here.
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