Brendan Rodgers audition: Leicester boss has a good chance to visualize himself for the position of Man City
Leicester’s fight against Manchester City at King Power Stadium attended extra after Pep Guardiola’s side discovered their miserable Champions League fate.
Satuday’s Premier League meeting would always be a tasty affair, as both sides compete for second place in the pecking order, while Liverpool keeps running away with procedures.
But now that City has heard their two-year Champions League ban and imposed a £ 25 million fine after “serious breaches” of the rules of Financial Fair Play, their future seems somewhat lacking.
Brendan Rodgers is in the frame for the Manchester City job when Pep Guardiola leaves
The city threatens to lose Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne if their European ban is enforced
It has led to many concerns that star players, including Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva, could leave, but perhaps the biggest repercussion would be if Guardiola – the man who led City to two consecutive Premier League titles – jumped.
Discussions have already arisen about who might take over at Etihad if the unthinkable happened and a man in the framework is a certain Brendan Rodgers.
Rodgers, alongside Mauricio Pochettino, are reportedly drafted by the ruling Premier League champions – who have made a huge impression on the city government, who admire his style of football.
And Saturday night is the perfect opportunity for Rodgers to make a strong effort to eventually take over the Guardiola acquisition in the future.
The rise of Rodgers after his resignation from Liverpool in 2015 was remarkable and he really exceeded expectations.
The Northern Irishman was closely linked to the Arsenal task before Unai Emery was named as successor to Arsene Wenger in the summer of 2018 and again when the Spaniard was fired last November.
Leicester has been one of the stories of the season thanks to Rodgers’ attacking philosophy
There is no shortage of admirers for Rodgers, whose reputation grew again after his record-breaking time in Scotland at Celtic, with whom he led in a stunning 69-game unbeaten domestic run.
He found a completely new life in Glasgow and won two Scottish Premiership titles, as well as many Scottish Cups and three League Cups.
It was a matter of time before he got a job in England again and his time came to prove that he had what was needed when Leicester came in February last year after Claude Puel’s resignation.
And since his appointment, Leicester has not looked back and, against all odds, has become one of England’s most formidable teams in a 12-month period.
A huge factor behind the Foxes’ success is its willingness to take risks, giving the club’s youth the chance to thrive on the biggest stage of all.
Enthusiasts of James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Ben Chilwell and Caglar Soyuncu shone for Leicester this season and gained more confidence as the weeks went by after showing that they could take on the best in the Premier League.
The Northern Irishman has put a huge confidence in this campaign in people like Harvey Barnes
They all developed their games en masse under Rodgers and at some point this season refused to abandon a remarkable Premier League title, which is now over and Liverpool abuses everyone on its way.
The foxes have taken the scalp of Tottenham and Arsenal this campaign while humiliating Southampton 9-0 completely away from home in the best performance of the Premier League season.
They have been in a sparkling form most of the season and deserve all the accolades that come their way – with the upcoming term to the Champions League football most likely.
Jamie Vardy has been in beautiful form everywhere and led the Premier League scorecards with 17 goals thanks to Maddison and the silky Youri Tielemans who played the path of the former English international again and again.
But it’s not just in the middle of the park where they do damage. Barnes and Ayoze Perez pose a real threat to the wings, while Chilwell and Ricardo Pereira have been granted a permit by Rodgers to roam the sides and to overlap to add another attacking threat.
Rodgers will desperately try to make Guardiola better at King Power Stadium on Saturday
Defensively they are also extremely stubborn, with Soyuncu and Jonny Evans offering a magnificent shield for goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.
They have the third best defensive record in the English top flight, behind only Liverpool and Sheffield United – only admitted 26 times in as many matches.
Rodgers has supervised a turnaround at the King Power Stadium. When he took over, they seemed a shot of confidence and lacked a true identity, but only a year later the foxes fly high with faith beyond their years thanks to only one man.
And on Saturday, Rodgers and his Leicester players will be sure to add another victim to their list in Guardiola’s City, still ruining their European ban.
City’s top maneuver will be watching very closely as the action unfolds at King Power Stadium and they will be watching Rodgers closely to see if he can possibly lead the club through a new era on Etihad.
City, who appeals against UEFA’s judgment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, runs the risk of losing their biggest names if their ban is enforced, and what many thought might be a prolonged period of dominance could soon end.
Rodgers would like to turn Phil Foden into an instrumental star at Etihad if he were to become the boss
Although he has remained adamant, he will remain in the club if the Champions League ban continues, maybe Guardiola will simply keep his eye open for another opportunity elsewhere, which may pave the way for Rodgers to take the hotseat.
And City should certainly not be afraid to consider the 47-year-old. His past exploits emphasize that he could usher in a bold revolution in Manchester.
A club that was so used to immediate success and big money names that had put on the shirt in recent years might perhaps simply evolve if Rodgers were at the helm. An internal pressure has been exerted on Guardiola to gain the greatest honor, meaning that the club’s intent was in truth, almost watered down during his reign.
But if City is financially restricted because of their UEFA punishment, then they can trust that their next generation of talents will trust and Rodgers would not avoid the big responsibility.
Perhaps Phil Foden can soon become an important man for City, while Tommy Doyle, Jayden Braaf, James McAtee and Cole Palmer can become stars to look forward to in the near future.