Molby: Rodgers needs time to make Liverpool changes

Liverpool legend Jan Molby says the club's fans must be prepared to be patient with manager Brendan Rodgers following defeat at West Brom.


It's great to have football back after what was an admittedly shorter summer break than usual.

Euro 2012 and the Olympics may have helped bridge the gap, but fans have been waiting to see their clubs in action again for three months.

So it would have been very hard for the expectation to build for so long and then to start the season on the receiving end of high-scoring defeats as happened to Queens Park Rangers, Norwich and Liverpool.

Of course, supporters should try their best not to panic after a defeat on the opening day – even those followers of QPR and the Canaries who saw their teams thumped 5-0.

It is only the first day of a very long campaign. You have to hope the fans will be patient, but the way the world is these days that can be difficult. Everyone wants everything now.

Patience is certainly something that everyone connected with Liverpool should have where Brendan Rodgers is concerned. No one is under any illusions about the size of the job he has taken on. If anyone thought that he was going to be able to completely change the way Liverpool play after a couple of months and a handful of warm-up games then they were very much mistaken. These things take time, and as long as Liverpool don't hang around the bottom of the table for too long he should be given that time.

I was at Anfield for the first game of last season when Liverpool struggled for goals in a 1-1 draw against Sunderland, and it looks as though they have the same problem this time around. Luis Suarez is one of the most talented players in the country. He has wonderful ability and is so unpredictable. But he does not seem equipped to carry the goalscoring burden on his own.

Fabio Borini will probably take time to settle into the team, even though he was a youth player in Britain for a long period. I was surprised to see him spend a lot of time in a wide role which didn't really seem to suit him.

It was also a surprise to see Joe Cole brought off the bench before Andy Carroll. When a team has gone down to 10 men and is chasing the game, you would usually want to go for the more direct approach that Carroll would offer - especially given that the striker had a pretty decent end to last season and did well at Euro 2012. Rodgers clearly has other plans for him, however.

It is obvious that if Liverpool receive a decent offer for Carroll between now and the transfer deadline then they will accept it. If he doesn't fit into the way Rodgers wants to play then there seems little point keeping him there.

This would surely have been discussed when Rodgers was holding talks over taking the job. He would have wanted to know that if there were players he didn't want then he would be free to move them on, and no doubt the relevant names would have been brought up at the time. The board backing the manager's judgement is just as important when it come to players going out as those coming in.

I can't see how Carroll is going to change the manager's opinion of him now. Rodgers was obviously well aware of him before coming to the club, and he is acting decisively in his early days in the role. Were it not for the money Liverpool paid for Carroll in the first place, they might have already moved him on as his asking price would have been far lower.

In an odd way, the fact that they play a European game on Thursday and then Manchester City next in the league might actually help lift the spirits in the Liverpool dressing room. Rather than having time to dwell on that defeat on the opening day, the players can all focus on another competition before welcoming the champions to their ground for one of their biggest games of the season.

If it had been QPR, for example, who were visiting Anfield on Sunday then expectations of a resounding win would have been high and that pressure might not have helped. However, playing such a top side could mean that the focus will not be so much on getting a result but more on putting in an encouraging performance that will lift them for the games to come after that.

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