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Friday 15 December 2017

Bellamy: Rodgers a 'good choice'

Hitman happy with 'Pool pick but warns of tough task ahead

LIVERPOOL forward Craig Bellamy has welcomed the expected managerial appointment of Brendan Rodgers, but warned the Northern Irishman he faces a massive challenge at the five-times European champions.

While Swansea impressed in their debut Premier League season under Rodgers with an attractive, ball-retaining style, Liverpool supporters have voiced concerns over whether he has the stature for one of England's most illustrious sides.

Fans may have yearned for a high- profile appointment such as Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho or departing Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola, but Bellamy believes they should be pleased.

"I think they have made a very good appointment in Brendan Rodgers, I really do," Bellamy told reporters in Singapore today as he unveiled the team's new kit.

"He is a very good guy as well, speaks well, knows his football, and he has proven himself."

Having had his playing career end prematurely through injury, Rodgers went into coaching and was made youth team coach at Reading before Mourinho brought him to Chelsea in 2004 as a member of his backroom staff.

He left Stamford Bridge to take over as manager at Championship Watford, where he finished mid-table, before a brief and disappointing spell at Reading and then his successful move to south Wales.

Having won promotion to the Premier League in his first season with Swansea, and with his links to Mourinho -- still adored in England for his successes with Chelsea -- Rodgers received many plaudits and is regarded as one of the brightest young managers in England.



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But that does not always translate into guaranteed success.

"Liverpool is a huge, huge challenge. No disrespect to Swansea but this is Liverpool football club," Bellamy, 32, warned Rodgers.

"So it is going to be a big test for him, but, to me, if you know football, you know football, it doesn't matter what club you go to."

Rodgers also faces the tricky task of succeeding Kenny Dalglish, one of the club's most revered talents, having won league titles as a manager and player at Anfield.

However, the jury is still out on his second spell, which lasted just 18 months.

He won praise for ending the club's six-year wait for a trophy when they won the League Cup in February, but sixth and then eighth-place league finishes as great rivals Manchester United overtook them to win a record 19th title were heavily criticised.

Expensive signings such as Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing failed to deliver, while his tactics were criticised in the FA Cup final loss to Chelsea. But, despite the issues, Bellamy was disappointed Dalglish departed.

"What he means to Liverpool Football Club is just indescribable and to be signed by him and to play for Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish was probably, truly, the greatest honour I have had in football.

"Usually you get what you deserve. If you finish eighth you deserve to finish eighth, but I thought there were a lot of games where we were very unfortunate."

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