Rodgers: Swansea City Fits Me Perfectly
Brendan Rodgers says Swansea City 'fits me perfectly', with passionate fans, a club with solid foundations and a philopsophy of playing attractive, but disciplined football.
The new manager has certainly impressed so far in his early media interviews. Both Rodgers and chairman Huw Jenkins seem compatible in what they each want - to continue the club progressing in the same way it has been in recent years.
The former Watford and Reading boss has been a big admirer of the club in recent years, our rise through the Leagues and the attractive passing style of football we play - particularly under former boss Roberto Martinez.
Rodgers was impressed how Martinez managed to employ that style of football in such a little time, and he said that's how he wants his teams to play. Blackpool boss Ian Holloway also said the same and he was inspired by Martinez to play a more attractive style when he returned to management last year.
The big test for Brendan now is doing it himself. Can he bring back 'champagne football'? After 12 months of watching Sousa's patient, but boring play with few goals, the Swansea City faithful want to get their money's worth and be entertained again.
'Anyone who knows me will be aware of the football I like my team to play,'
'Myself and Roberto are very similar. We were very young starting as managers and like to play a certain way.
'I want my team to play attractive and attacking football, but always disciplined — that's what Swansea have been about.
'They have built a brand here over the past few years in relation to how they go about their performances on the field. It has brought many, many admirers.
'Whether you are direct or play a passing game, it is important you produce a team that wins.
'We can learn from last season's superb defensive record, and also how we can re-create that first season in the Championship where we were offensive and scored goals and also look to punish teams with all the possession we have.
'It's what people want to see. With the style we have it is important the intensity and tempo of our game is up there.
'There is a difference between 4-3-3 and 4-5-1 and that is work on the training field. It is an area I am sure the players are aware of.'
He also praised the supporters:
'The one big thing for me coming here was the supporters,'
'I came here as a manager, but I also came here to watch games. I would drive two and a half hours down the road from Reading to watch Swansea play and the big thing for me was how the supporters were educated.
'I watched a game against Derby last year where it was 78 minutes gone and Swansea still hadn't scored, but it was very, very good. It was 0-0 and I am looking at the supporters.
'They weren't shouting to bang it forward and when the goal came it was what Swansea deserved.
'There is passion here. I am an Irishman so I have that passion, I love my football and I like to see offensive, attacking football. We will work very hard in trying to create that. Other managers who will see me come here will think it's the right fit.'
Rodgers also told the Evening Post that he's looking to prove his critics wrong:
'I know there are three types of supporters.
'The loyal ones who love the club. They are the ones who will back me, the next manager and the next manager after that. You know that.
'There is the second group. They won't accept you into the club, you have got to earn your money and show that the club is progressing.
'Then there is the third group, the critics. Those are the guys who will say that Alex Ferguson isn't very good, José Mourinho isn't very good or Carlo Ancelotti isn't very good, and you can never change that. That is the industry we are in.
'The only way you prove yourself to those is by winning games.'
Swansea City also has the ability to attract young loan players to the club because of their trend of football, Rodgers said:
'Swansea are a club where the big clubs can send their top players,'
'Having worked at a big club for four and a half years I know the mentality of what those clubs want when they send out their young players. Any club in the world would send their players here.
'Last season I was with Steve McClaren (at FC Twente) the week before they won the championship. Speaking to his coaches, out of all the clubs in Great Britain the first club they mentioned was Swansea. 'Fantastic football', they said.
'That is a big compliment to this club and the brand that has been created here. That is why the chairman and the people here want to continue with this philosophy.'
'I am relaxed but focused,'
'There are three things I promise when I come into any club.
'My communication is open. I respect that people have work to do whether it is people at the club, journalists, whoever. I try to be as open as I possibly can and I work closely with my players.
'I promise quality in my work. I had to retire as a young player, I spent 15 years from the age of 20 to get my first manager's jobs.
'I worked with the best day-to-day organiser in world football for three and a half years and I learned a hell of a lot.
'The third and final point is ambition.
'I want success for this club. People who know me know that and the chairman here has picked up my drive to make this a Premier League club during my time here.
'If people want a big-name manager that is not me. I am a guy who will give my best and I know that my best will hopefully see us progress.'