Brendan Rodgers: Is Leicester boss among the managerial elite in Britain?

Is Brendan Rodgers among the best British managers this century? And does he get the credit he deserves?

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Leicester are currently setting the pace at the top of the Premier League, having recovered from their drop in the second half of last season, which saw them finish outside of the top four.

Win percentage: 48.1%

Of British managers to have taken charge of more than 50 Premier League games since 2000, only Sir Alex Ferguson has a better win percentage than Brendan Rodgers

Speaking on the Pitch to Post Review podcast, Sky Sports News‘ Midlands reporter Rob Dorsett explains why Rodgers’ tactical nous and preparation is second to none, while Gary Neville also had his say on the latest Gary Neville Podcast, following Leicester’s 1-0 win over Wolves on Sunday.

The argument: Success in England, Scotland and Wales

In 2011, Rodgers took Swansea to the Premier League at the first time of asking for the first time in their history before establishing them in the division straight away, finishing just outside the top half.

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In 2012 he moved to Liverpool, a side who had averaged a seventh-place finish in the three seasons prior. In his second season, he took them to within a whisker of their first Premier League title, scoring 101 goals – at that point the third highest in the Premier League, and won the LMA Manager of the Year.

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Rodgers was sacked in 2015, replaced by Jurgen Klopp, but then went to Celtic and became the first manager to win back-to-back trebles in Scottish football. He won seven trophies and put them on course for the ‘treble treble’. His Celtic side went unbeaten for 69 games – the longest run in British history.

He then moved to Leicester in February 2019, and in his first full season, his side were in the top three from gameweek 12 until 34, before slipping outside of the top four.

And now, early in this season, his side tops the table, with a better record than when Leicester won the title in 2015/16.

So, does he get the credit he deserves?

‘Tactical nous and prep second to none’

Sky Sports News’ Rob Dorsett on the Pitch to Post Review podcast:

“Brendan Rodgers is an incredibly good coach, an incredibly good manager. Off camera, he talks about football matters and he’s fascinating. He explains how he gets his team to press, why he wants to play out from the back, and it’s a real footballing education.

“That’s coming from a journalist, you should see how his players react. They respond to him, they’re almost in awe of him I think. That’s rare in a manager – you get it in the likes of Pep and Klopp – but to get it in Rodgers speaks volumes about how highly regarded he is at Leicester.

“He probably doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Rodgers had real concerns about the depth in Leicester’s squad and what they could achieve, so I’d say he’s pleasantly surprised about how they’ve stepped up.

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“You have to admire him. You also have to point out he’s a very ambitious guy. It still wrangles with him that it didn’t work out at Liverpool, and that he got sacked from that job. Deep down I think he believes he put a lot of the building blocks in place that Jurgen Klopp is now reaping the rewards for.

“So I think he’d like another top job at some point in the future. What he’s doing at Leicester is only making him more attractive for those top jobs.

“It was a calculated decision to leave Celtic – he was loved up there, did a fantastic job, and could have gone on to win a third straight Treble before he left. Why did he do that? Nobody could understand it, but it’s because he saw a real opportunity at Leicester, with a young, talented squad, rich owners prepared to back him within FFP, build a new training ground, and he felt he could take them somewhere and rebuild his reputation I the Premier League.

“That’s what he’s done in a big, big way. His tactical nous, the way he prepared the players, is second to none in all the football I’ve seen.”

To hear more, download the Sky Sports Pitch to Post Review podcast on your provider

Nev: He’s up there with the best

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Sky Sports’ Gary Neville on the Gary Neville Podcast:

“Leicester are an awkward, awkward proposition. They do a lot of things very well, they’re efficient, well-coached. They started last season really well, fell away at the end,

“It’s an outstanding performance from Brendan Rodgers. Wolves are a very difficult customer to get past, and what Leicester are doing is outstanding.

“It proves it’s no one-season wonder, there’s continuity now, and he’s one of the outstanding managers in the league, Brendan Rodgers.

“We talk about British coaches not being at the level of Klopp or Pep or Jose or Poch. But actually Brendan Rodgers has finished second with Liverpool, done what he did with Leicester, and is up there really. He’s a fantastic coach.”

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