Ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Arsenal later today, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has stressed that he won’t abandon his footballing principles to accommodate new signing Christian Benteke, not only backing the Belgian to adapt to his principles, but touting the positive impact his unpredictability will have on his sides ability to find the net.
“I’m not one that will go into every game and not worry about how we play and take a 1-0,” explained the Northern Irishman ahead of the meeting with the Gunners. “You can do that at times but the nature of how I work on a daily basis, and how we work as a coaching staff, is based on the tactical idea of intelligent footballers, creative footballers with high energy, the ability to press the game and make it really difficult for opponents with and without the ball,” he said, before further clarifying. “That notion hasn’t changed but as you evolve as a manager and a coach, you understand and recognise that at times there are different ways to win a game of football. When you have those types of players, that gives us a better way to win.”
Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood may have been highly critical of Benteke’s decision to join Liverpool with their style of play, according to him, not conducive to the Belgian’s strengths. Although that may, in theory anyway, be true, Rodgers has dismissed that notion while at the same time confirming that while their game plan is evolving, it will stay for the most part the same.
“He can play football,” enthused Rodgers. “What he gives us is that threat in the box. When the ball comes in, he’s a striker in the area. There are other ways of doing it to keep the game alive,” he continued before highlighting that the Reds game, in essence, will remain the same. “There’s not a compromise. I said at the beginning of the season we want the unpredictability to our game. My emphasis has always been about possession, but dangerous possession, and that is important to us. Our conditions of our game won’t change but hopefully because of the different strikers, it gives that unpredictability to our game.”