Liverpool legend Kevin Keegan has hailed the appointment of Brendan Rodgers as new boss, insisting that the former Swansea manager can bring exciting football to Anfield this season.
Rodgers was appointed as Kenny Dalglish's replacement at the start of the summer, and has already stamped his authority on the club as he looks to instill a similar system to that which earned him plaudits at the Liberty Stadium last year.
“I think it's a good appointment,” said ESPN analyst Kevin Keegan. “It's a step in a different direction for the club.
“We've seen the football he played at Swansea with players less talented that the one's he has now, and the fans will be thinking if he can play that brand of football with the likes of [Steven] Gerrard and [Luis] Suarez, then it could be very exciting.”
Rodgers has begun that in earnest, recruiting exciting midfield talent Joe Allen from his former club, as well as snapping up a proven goal-scorer in Fabio Borini, and an adept wide-man in Oussama Assaidi. All of his signings this summer point towards a more attacking style, something Keegan suggests Liverpool have been lacking in recent years.
“I think he will be attacking more with the players he has, and that's what Liverpool fans want. For years they have been too defensive at home, playing with one up top. If he's adventurous, they've got the ability to score a lot of goals at home.”
Initial criticisms of Rodgers questioned whether this was too big a job for him at such a relatively early stage of his managerial career, but as Keegan comments, his work at Chelsea alongside Jose Mourinho has given him the necessary experience to survive at a big club.
“He had a good grounding at Chelsea. He's not wet behind the ears in terms of the Premier League. When you're working with the likes of Mourinho at Chelsea, and you're winning things, you're bound to pick up things from that.”
One big question mark remaining though, is that over Andy Carroll's future at Liverpool. Rodgers' ommission of the England striker from his squad for the Europa League first leg qualification clash only heightened rumours that the £35 million man may be off before the summer's end, but as Keegan suggests, Carroll may still have a role to play.
“It was looking very bleak last season just up until Christmas, but he then found his Liverpool and Premier League legs,” Keegan said.
“You've got to remember this is a lad with very little experience. I had him at Newcastle and never played him, so we're talking about three or four years ago and he wasn't playing at all.
“But he's a good weapon to have on your bench, and he can certainly play in games where you think playing more direct might suit you.”