Former Liverpool striker Robbie Fowler believes that if Brendan Rodgers is given a long run with the team, some success will arrive at the club in the near future.
“He is a clever manager. Rodgers is ready to change formations according to the opposition,” the former England player told The Hindu, denying suggestions that the Reds’ manager is yet to settle on his first team.
When asked to explain Liverpool’s impressive display this season, Fowler said that the change occurred during the club’s pre-season tour of Australia, Thailand and Indonesia. “The passion from the players was immense. I hadn’t witnessed such togetherness within the side for a long time.”
Fowler also refused to credit free-scoring Luis Suarez alone for the recent highs experienced by the Liverpool faithful. “There are other fantastic players in the side. Unless the team’s behind him, he won’t score so many goals.”
In terms of short-term expectations, Fowler would be satisfied with a Champions League spot.
“A good FA Cup run could help Liverpool in the league. Though as a fan I want the club to buy players, the squad’s depth is good enough for the games it has to play. Liverpool is not playing in Europe and was knocked out of the League Cup early.”
Looking deeper in the future, Fowler picked out a few players from the club academy who have impressed him during his mentoring duties there.
“Brad Smith came on as a substitute against Chelsea. Cameron Brannagan was on the bench for the FA Cup tie against Oldham. Jordan Rossiter is one of the biggest prospects there. I don’t want to put him under pressure but he reminds me of Steven Gerrard.”England will struggle
In terms of England’s chances at the World Cup in Brazil this year, Fowler reckons that Roy Hodgson’s side will struggle even if it qualifies from a tough group that includes Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica.
“The first game will dictate England’s approach in the tournament. There are better teams around,” said the 38-year-old, while naming Spain, Brazil and Argentina as favourites.
To combat the tough opposition, Fowler thinks that England may pick players with more experience.
“Ross Barkley is a very good player. But we don’t know whether he will be in the squad. An extra two midfielders could be taken.”
England, unlike most sides, still names two strikers in its playing eleven but Fowler believes that a forward’s role is totally different nowadays.
“In my playing days, I preferred to play alongside a target man and poach goals. But now, teams play only one striker because today’s players are fitter.”