How Brendan Rodgers Can Take Leicester City Into a New Era

Brendan Rodgers's tactics and ability to unearth quality players could make him a perfect antidote for what's been ailing Leicester City, which parted ways with Claude Puel to lure its new manager from Celtic.
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Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has returned to the Premier League with Leicester City, with the former Liverpool manager leaving Scottish giant Celtic in the middle of another romp to a top-flight table in order to take over at King Power Stadium.

While supporters north of the border will be disappointed that Rodgers won't be the man in charge to lead Celtic to a historic 10th league title in a row - both of the Old Firm clubs have won nine before - fans in the East Midlands should be excited about what's to come.

Under former manager Claude Puel, Leicester City were playing a brand of football which was impossible for the fans to connect to, something which is so important for mid-table teams.

With 46-year-old Rodgers at the helm, however, the Foxes could be in a fantastic position to not only rekindle their feel-good factor but also build the foundations of a club that wants to fight for their place in the top half of the Premier League and beyond.

What's interesting with Rodgers is that he was actually ahead of the curve when it came to the current trend of modern goalkeepers, where the likes of Manchester City's Ederson and Jordan Pickford at Everton have a part to play when their sides have possession.

"When we have the football everybody’s a player. The difference with us is that when we have the ball we play with 11 men, other teams play with 10 and a goalkeeper," Rodgers said in 2012, quoted by EPL Index.

Both in and out of possession, Rodgers stresses the importance of his team working as one individual unit, as opposed to simply 11 players doing their job. But it's his broader tactics, which were hyped up when he was at Liverpool, which Leicester City fans should be most excited about.

Rodgers uses a cocktail of 'Tiki-Taka' - in its modern meaning at least, which combines short passing and movement - along with the infamous Dutch style of 'Total Football', pioneered by Jack Reynolds at Ajax before being adopted by Hungary's Gusztáv Sebes during their golden generation.

As things stand right now, if the move happens it looks like the transition isn't going to be seamless for Rodgers, and no one expects him to take to life at the King Power Stadium like a duck to water in his first week.

Leicester City are in no danger of being relegated, so Rodgers will be given the rest of this season to plan for the next, where he can really implement his style on a group of players once the 'dead wood' has been moved on.

Rodgers' transfer history should fill Leicester fans with some hope too, even if his track record shows that he can strike gold just as often as he can sign a number of 'flop of the season' contenders.

At Swansea, unearthing players like Leon Britton, Scott Sinclair, Michel Vorm and even Gylfi Sigurdsson showed that the 46-year-old had a keen eye in the transfer market, helping to sweep some of their less successful signings under the rug.

But it was at Liverpool where his yo-yoing of transfer success really stood out the most. 

Christian Benteke, Lazar Marković, Mario Balotelli and Iago Aspas arrived at the club during his tenure for a combined £92m, while on the other side of that coin, additions at Anfield like Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Emre Can exceeded expectations.

Rodgers' journey through management has gone somewhat against the grain in the modern footballing landscape, largely because he hasn't got a wealth of professional footballing experience behind him outside of Northern Ireland because he was forced to retire at an early age.

His early managerial stripes were all earned at Reading between 1994 and 2004. Rodgers was the assistant to the likes of Alan Pardew, Steve Coppell and a handful of others during his decade in Berkshire, before moving onto youth team management.

Rodgers got his first taste of being a head coach with Chelsea's Under-18 side before being bumped up to their reserve side in 2006. Just two years later, his first senior management role came with Watford, then Reading, before establishing himself at Swansea City.

His two years in south Wales eventually earned him the call up by Liverpool, and Rodgers came to within a whisker of winning the Reds a Premier League title.

Since leaving Anfield and moving to Celtic Park in 2016, Rodgers has lifted back-to-back league titles, back-to-back league cups, as well as back-to-back Scottish cups.

While there isn't any guaranteed success for Rodgers at Leicester City, if the Northern Irishman completes the anticipated move he will be given enough time to leave his stamp on the club, and given his past success elsewhere that will be a promising sign for the Foxes moving forward.