Yesterday, Brendan Rodgers sat in front of the media and gave one of his best interviews yet, and one of the things I took from it is that the guy is determined to win.
Sounds daft, right?
Because one of my constant criticisms of the way the media sucks up to Ibrox is that they seem to be ignoring the obvious fact that every player at every club wants to win; just because Todd Cantwell stops playing with his hair long enough to focus on football and says he has his heart set on winning things, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he will.
And it doesn’t make him special because every player says the same.
I think what Rodgers said yesterday was different, because he has turned away slightly from the ideological approach taken by Ange, whose focus was on beautiful football. Rodgers’ team will play beautiful football; indeed, all the records we narrowly missed out on last season were set by the team he constructed, but he won’t shy away from winning ugly.
This has been evident since his first press conference, when he told us fan media reps that one of the things he wanted to do was get more “power” into the team.
That makes perfect sense, and it’s one of the reasons I think he greenlit the signing of Kwon, and one of the reasons he’s going to love managing Oh. The big defender is also a beast, and these guys have added proper strength to the side, and that is going to become ever more apparent.
He knows what they are doing across the city; he knows that The Mooch is trying to go for a physically intimidating side. Brendan wants that in our locker, for those games.
This is why he’s talking now about aggression, and as much as I love watching our sexy football I want to see that sort of thinking not only against The Mooch but in Europe.
Rodgers is not here to rest on his laurels or to brag on his previous record, not that he will be allowed to do that by a media which has been picking holes in it.
I think he resents the Hell out of the garbage he’s already heard about the last time he was here and so our media has conspired to give us what we might otherwise not have had; an elite level boss who is still hungry in spite of his previous successes and dying to put these Peepul in their place.
And yesterday he sounded like a man who doesn’t care how he does that. Good football yes, but if we have to grind it out we will. If we have to battle he wants us able. And that might be the worst news of the summer for those who wish us ill.