These days, success off the pitch is intrinsically linked to success on it. While Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre plots ways to bring fresh funds into the Anfield coffers, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is targeting some shiny pieces of silver.
We’ve seen the team transform over the last 18 months under the Northern Irishman, and with ten matches left in the season, we’re looking well placed to finish the season stronger than predicted. “We have gone from a team that was looking to put a style of football in place, a high-energy, high-tempo attacking team” said the Liverpool boss. “I think it’s recognised now that we have been one of the most exciting teams in the country to watch, but we want to have success alongside that.”
Going into this weekend’s meeting with Manchester United, the Reds sit in second place, having played a match more, league leaders Chelsea sit a mere 7-points clear of Rodgers side. Although having a tilt at the title will make for an exciting close to the season, the Northern Irishman continues to insist that that’s not the aim – for now. “Success for us is to get into the Champions League” he continued. “But we want, eventually, over the next 18 months, to be challenging with the squad on the trophy front, both in terms of the Premier League and the other trophies.”
Liverpool are expected to build in the summer; European football will demand not only a bigger squad, but will also remove many of the boundaries the Reds faced when trying to capture “marquee players” last summer. Still, the focus remains on the team as a whole. You win with eleven men, not just one or two. “I am very keen to create the idea of the collective, because that is what wins you games and wins you championships. The team is very important, and then obviously having great individuals within that” explained Rodgers. “It’s about working hard, and creating the standards, values and expectancy here. We never get tired of demanding the best at the club.”