London – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has forged a reputation for playing attractive football but the Northern Irishman admits that success must come first as he takes on his new role at Anfield.
Rodgers, 39, took unfancied Swansea City into the Premier League last year and kept them up, leading the Welsh outfit to memorable wins against the likes of champions Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool along the way.
He is now expected to get his Liverpool side playing the same brand of flowing football that worked so well for Swansea, but Rodgers has stressed that substance takes precedence over style.
“The way I want to play here is the Liverpool way,” he told liverpoolfc.com.
“The history and tradition of this club has been about offensive football, attacking football – but always with discipline.
“The game will be based around what Liverpool are about, which is control, dominating games with the ball, working very hard when you haven't got the ball and keeping the game as simple as possible.
“Of course I'll bring in a certain philosophy which I'm attached to but the principles of your game are based around the players.
“For me the best thing about the game other than scoring goals is having the football, and that'll be the idea and the fundamentals we'll work on – but they are playing ultimately to win.
“We're in the business of winning and hopefully we can entertain along the way.”
Meanwhile, the agent of Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani said Rodgers will decide whether the Italian has a future at Anfield.
“The new Liverpool coach will decide Alberto's fate,” Franco Zavaglia told Italian radio station Radio Mana Mana.
“We will have to wait and see what he thinks about the player and whether Alberto will be of any use to the Reds.
“Alberto has a contract at Liverpool for another two years and they will let us know about their intentions soon.
“He would be happy to stay at Liverpool if he was given the right opportunities.”
Aquilani was brought to Liverpool by then-manager Rafael Benitez in 2009 but has failed to settle in England and has spent the last two seasons on loan at Juventus and then AC Milan. – Sapa-AFP