TSF: A Make Or Break Game For Rodgers?

Each week, The Secret Footballer will offer a sneak preview of his weekend column on F365. In the first of this series, he wonders what Sunday holds for Brendan Rodgers...

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This is a preview of The Secret Footballer's weekly column. The full version will appear on his website - The Secret Footballer.com - on Saturday...

I had decided a few weeks ago to write about the direction that Liverpool are headed under the guidance of Brendan Rodgers for this weekend's column. The obvious reason was that it coincided with Rodgers's biggest test since taking over, the grudge match that is Liverpool vs Manchester United. But football, as always happens, has a habit of serving up even more reverence to matches that need little help. At long last the truth is beginning to emerge about the Hillsborough tragedy and Sunday's game happens to be Liverpool's first at home since the news broke.

The truth is, however, that this weekend there will be far more qualified people than me that will no doubt talk and write about the events of that terrible day in 1989 from a position of first hand experience. I am not worthy of offering anything other than my hope that the families and all the people involved continue to get the truth and justice that have campaigned so hard for. I can't even begin to imagine how the last 23 years have felt for each of them.

What I am qualified to talk about is the way that football is played and the tactics and strategies on the pitch that are affecting a teams performance. It just so happens that Liverpool is the team that I earmarked to write about all those weeks ago.

The reason was down to a phone call that I took from a friend of mine that plays his football in America and who speaks to the same journalists that cover the Boston Red Sox. And if you believe what those journalists are saying (and Liverpool fans most certainly have no reason to believe anything that any journalist ever writes again) then for Rodgers, the Manchester United game could well be a deal-breaker, with October a month that he should be particularly wary of.

It is arguable that with the emotion hanging over Liverpool football club at present, only a win for them would feel fit and proper (although I'm sure the Manchester United fans will have a view on that). Historically though, football, as we all know, struggles to do fit and proper. But I already know that regardless of what happens on the pitch this weekend, Anfield will again remind us of the humility, pride and decency that football fans can serve up in moments of collective grief, I am expecting the Liverpool supporters to humble us all once more on Sunday.


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