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Former Reds & Swans ace warns that fans may not take kindly to the patient play that has seen the former Chelsea coach win so many plaudits

EXCLUSIVE
By Rob Stewart

Former Liverpool and Swansea City forward Phil Boersma fears the Anfield faithful could turn on Brendan Rodgers if the Swans manager brings his distinct brand of football to Merseyside.

Boersma spoke out as ex-Chelsea coach Rodgers emerged as the front runner for the vacant Liverpool manager’s job ahead of Wigan counterpart Roberto Martinez despite ruling himself out of contention last week following the sacking of Kenny Dalglish.

"The signings that came in basically got Kenny the sack. It does not matter what you say about them – they under-performed massively and Kenny paid the price" - Boersma

Rodgers has won plenty of plaudits thanks to Swansea’s style of play that puts the emphasis on retaining possession but Boersma has warned that it might not go down well with Reds fans who have become accustomed to more direct attacking play.

“I’m surprised that he is back in the frame - it is a huge turnaround with Brendan ruling himself out of the race after Kenny was sacked so it is a strange one,” Boersma told Goal.com.

“But Brendan Rodgers is obviously the way forward. He has done a great job since taking over from Roberto Martinez at Swansea.

"I was actually at the Swansea-Liverpool game at the end of the season and I have to say that they do try to play a little bit like Barcelona and just keep possession. You have to have a lot of faith in your players to play that way, especially in the Premier League.

“Brendan is an up-and-coming manager but the $64,000 question is whether or not Liverpool fans would like that style of football that he plays.

"Unless things have changed over the years, Liverpool have always been a team – especially at Anfield – that like to get it forward fast and have plenty of attacking football.

“From what I saw at Swansea, they certainly don’t do that. I just think that the crowd just might turn on them if they play that type of football. It is not a strange way to play but in the Premier League it is not the brand of football that Liverpool would be used to.”

The 62-year-old Boersma, who helped Liverpool win two league titles and the Uefa Cup before injury ended his career while playing under John Toshack, believes Rodgers will be under intense pressure if he swaps South Wales for Merseyside.

“Brendan will be under a huge amount of pressure if he takes on the Liverpool job,” Boersma added.

"Whoever comes in will have to wave a magic wand on them because the performances last season, especially at Anfield, were totally baffling" - Boersma

“Everyone knows that the owners want to see their manager get the club into the top-four places so they get into the Champions League. But whether or not they have got the playing staff there that can get them into the top four remains to be seen.

“The signings that came in basically got Kenny the sack. It does not matter what you say about them – they under-performed massively and Kenny paid the price.

"With the money that they laid out and what they did to get Kenny I just thought why sack him when there was no one else as a leading contender.

“There was no automatic ‘he’s the man for the job’ sort of thing. If you take Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho out of the equation there is not a lot left. If I could have my way I would get Guardiola in.

“Whoever comes in will have to wave a magic wand on them because the performances last season, especially at Anfield, were totally baffling. They just didn’t perform.

“Brendan will have to get a little more out of those that have been under-achieving but there are other big issues looming. Steven Gerrard is obviously a big key player and he has been a talisman for the club over the last decade but how long has he got left? And Jamie Carragher hasn’t got too much left in him either.”

Boersma also warned against restoring former Reds manager Rafael Benitez to the manager’s office but feels legendary Dutch coach Louis van Gaal could be a smart appointment with Frank Rijkaard alongside him.

“I don’t see any point in going back. People are talking about bringing Rafa Benitez back but for me that would be a backward step. I think the likes of Martinez, Rodgers and Paul Lambert – these up-and-coming managers – who have done really well recently are the best bets,” he added.

“But whether or not they have the experience to take on a club like Liverpool you just wouldn’t know. Louis van Gaal might be a decent shout as a sporting director and maybe Frank Rijkaard as the coach might be a possibility.”

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