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"Rather than splurge another stack of cash to kick-start the stalled FSG project, would it not be best for Brendan Rodgers to try and make the most of the players already available to him?"
Shortly after I asked this question in the summer, Liverpool completed a £15million move for Joe Allen and shipped out Alberto Aquilani, Charlie Adam, Jay Spearing and Andy Carroll, in what I took to be a rather emphatic 'No' from Rodgers.
At the time, it seemed odd that the manager would cast judgement so quickly on players he had had little opportunity to work with on the training pitch, but after completing deals for Allen and Fabio Borini - both of whom he has managed previously - it was obvious that Rodgers had little faith in the questionable signings made by his predecessors.
Along with the quartet of departures, the manager also made it clear that Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique were surplus to requirements, with Downing sufficiently irritated by Rodgers' comments about 'lazy' players to respond: "I would have preferred it obviously if it was private."
That disagreement followed Liverpool's 3-2 home defeat to Udinese in October, but in the intervening weeks injuries and poor results have forced Rodgers to bring the previously shunned trio in from the cold, and they all started as the Reds progressed to the Europa League knock-out stage with a 1-0 win over the Serie A club on Thursday.
One of the reasons why I asked that question in the summer was because I felt that, if Rodgers' philosophy is as potent as he would have us believe, then surely he should be able to translate its principles to his new squad? Signing Allen seemed to be a cautious move - as though Rodgers needed the reassurance to facilitate his approach at Liverpool - and also a premature resignation from the manager that he was never going to be able to turn Henderson into the sort of player he needed.
But the main requirement in Rodgers' possession-based system is discipline and, after rejecting a move to Fulham in exchange for Clint Dempsey on deadline day, Henderson has hinted that he can fit into the manager's plans. This development, along with the impressive form of Enrique, has been a significant boost to Rodgers, reaffirming his philosophy at a time when Liverpool have been struggling in the league and also suggesting that his methods are gradually taking effect.
I've praised Rodgers' in-game changes before in Winners and Losers, and it was through tactical tweaks that both Henderson and Enrique grabbed their chances. Enrique's deployment ahead of Downing on the left has proved a promising option for the Reds, while Henderson has started four of the last five matches ahead of Nuri Sahin after being introduced as a first-half replacement for Suso against Wigan.
Henderson's winning goal against Udinese underlined that he has a part to play at Anfield this season and although Rodgers was previously willing to give up on the midfielder, he deserves credit for helping the 22-year-old to adapt to his system. "He is a great lad and works hard and has come in over the last month and made a good contribution to the team," said Rodgers after Thursday's victory. "He has that quality to arrive in the box and he has a finish in him so I am delighted for him and his hard work is paying off."
Unfortunately for the manager, Downing is still struggling to find form and it seems a January exit for the winger may be the only suitable option. But the improvement in Henderson and Enrique shows Rodgers can use his methods to get the best out of the players he has available and, at a time when FSG are keeping a tight grip on the purse strings, that can only be encouraging for Liverpool.
Matt Stanger - he's on the Twitter.