LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 01: Brendan Rodgers is unveiled as the new Liverpool FC manager at a press conference at Anfield on June 01, 2012 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Clint Hughes/Getty Images)
(Bitter and Blue) A bad start on opening day. Is this an indication of struggles to come or more of a freak result?
(Anfield Asylum) More the latter but the former will be a problem in the near future. The first half really was ok, except that it was more of the same of last year where Liverpool dominate possession, create some chances but can't finish (looking at you, Suarez). The first goal was just a thunderbolt, and you can't do much about that. Once they went down to ten men, it was always going to be a problem as Rodgers wanted to keep going for it. Scoreline is worse than it actually was.
(Bitter and Blue) What do you think of the Rodgers appointment? The right man to oversee a new era or is the job too soon for him.
(Anfield Asylum) Is I don't know an acceptable answer? He obviously did wonderful things at Swansea, and Liverpool were set on getting a young manager who can be around a long time. If that's what you want, then you almost certainly are plucking a guy from a much smaller club who doesn't have experience at a big club yet, for the most part. He obviously wants to play a system that goes down well with the fans, and if it works out it'll be the best imaginable. Even when Rafa Benitez was bringing the club to the heights that he did, some grumbled at his mostly defensive system. But yeah, Rodgers's CV obviously looks a little light at this point. I'm also worried what he's going to do when he needs a Plan B. Teams did not set out to counter was a club like Swansea does. Liverpool have already seen teams pack the middle to cancel out the short passing style. Can he adjust? We just don't know.
(Bitter and Blue) Rodgers has added some signings that appear to fit his style of play. Where does this leave the likes of Adam, Henderson and Carroll; all signed for big money in recent times?
(Anfield Asylum) Hopefully Adam will be driving the Mars rover soon. His lack of mobility and inability to tackle or not give the ball away will see him used sparingly, and it makes me smile to write that. Henderson won't get as many games as he might like, but he will fit in. Henderson's season last year wasn't as bad as some say, because he was mostly used out of position. He's got boundless energy and can pick a pass, two things Rodgers values highly. Carroll? Well, that's the big question. It wouldn't seem a system built for movement, touch, and being clever would suit his game. But Andy's had so much go against him since he arrived, we're all kind of rooting for him. And if teams are going to force Liverpool to go wide instead of the middle, it isn't the worst idea to have him around for those crosses that will be coming in. Y'know, if they weren't being fired by Stewart Downing. My heart and head says he's sold, but my gut really wants him to stay and succeed.
(Bitter and Blue) Although you won the Carling Cup the Premier League campaign was a disappointing (and at times controversial) one. What expectations do you have for this season
(Anfield Asylum) This is the first season in a long time where I kind of have no expectations at all. They could finish fourth if everything comes together -- which isn't as far away as some believe. They could have another balls-up and be in 8th as they struggle to adapt to Rodgers and the older players get older and none of the younger ones take a step forward. I honestly have no idea. And I feel like it'll be one or the other, nothing in the middle. Right now, the squad is really just too thin to get a Champions League place. If it were just about first 11's, I'd feel better. But there is serious work to be done before Aug. 30th.
(Bitter and Blue) And finally, how do you see Sundays game going?
(Anfield Asylum) Well, seeing as how it's the first at Anfield and the bitterness of last week's result still on the tongue, I'd expect Liverpool to come out firing. Based on what I've seen of your defense, I'd expect them to score as well. But with Lucas still feeling his way back from long-term injury and not quite the shield he was, City will score too. Both games at Anfield last year were draws, 1-1 and 2-2. I'm calling for one of those two scorelines. And then you'll just pack away Agger on the bus back home after the match and I'll hate you forever. But I'm glad I ordered a Lucas shirt instead of an Agger one.