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Monday, December 6, 2021

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Reaction as Brendan Rodgers to Manchester United rumours gather pace

Like it or not, the Brendan Rodgers to Manchester United rumours are gathering pace.

Manchester United’s dithering and lack of communication over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future has combined to create a feeling of uncertainty.

Mix in an international break, and rumours are beginning to run wild over what could happen next.

The Star report Manchester United are interested in Brendan Rodgers and claim he would be the club’s top choice.

brendan rodgers
(Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

The report claims Rodgers would be very tempted and find the job difficult to turn down if it were offered.

One of the key parts to the report is Rodgers’ reported release clause which would allow him to negotiate with a Champions League club.

Is Rodgers really top choice?

The prospect of Brendan Rodgers becoming United’s next manager feels initially quite underwhelming.

And at the moment we don’t know if this interest is genuine, or whether it is simple tabloid international week filler.

Rodgers’ is a good coach, he has proven that from his time at Swansea City, Liverpool, Celtic, and then recently Leicester.

He likes to play attacking football and has recruited well at Leicester, particularly with Youri Tielemans, Wesley Fofana, and Patson Daka.

Earlier this year he won the FA Cup, and at Celtic he won seven trophies in two seasons which included three domestic trebles and one unbeaten season.

At Liverpool his time was nearly a success, and it is the near-misses which have plagued Rodgers and are one of four reasons there are question marks over him.

Rodgers’ threw away the title with Liverpool with three games to go, presiding over a collapse still humorous to United fans.

Then he has seen his Leicester side miss out on top four finishes on the last day of the last two seasons, having occupied a spot for long stretches beforehand.

Rightly or wrongly, these near-misses stack up and ask questions over whether he is the man to get United over the line, or whether he would just lead to more heartbreak.

brendan rodgers
( OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

The Liverpool connection is the second reason against. Some fans won’t get over that and it will take a long time to win them round.

The third big negative against Rodgers is a poor European record at all of his clubs.

He fell at the Champions League group stages with Liverpool, and then once failed to get past the Champions League qualifying stages with Celtic. They reached the group stages twice and were hammered by both PSG and Barcelona, on one occasion eliminated bottom of the group.

Europa League runs with Liverpool, Celtic and Leicester have never taken him past the last 16, winning just one knockout tie from four attempts.

The fourth negative surrounding Rodgers is whether he is a strong enough figure to avoid being seen as a ‘yes man’ to the Glazers as some fans see Solskjaer. While important to maintain a good working relationship with his bosses, United need a manager who will challenge the dire decisions which get made at the top of the club.

With United dead set against appointing Antonio Conte partly for the reason he would be too challenging to work with, it’s easy to be suspicious of managers who the Glazers are comfortable working with.

brendan rodgers
(Photo by OLI SCARFF/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

In Rodgers’ favour is his considerable Premier League experience, and by and large he has done a very solid job at Leicester, and seems destined for a bigger role one day, whether that is at United or not.

Any new manager would be a gamble, and Rodgers would be an upgrade on Solskjaer.

Whether he is the ruthless winner United require, that is debatable. But with Solskjaer floundering right now, the club need to do something and despite the doubts over him, Rodgers ticks enough boxes to still be a credible candidate.

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