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Brendan Rodgers' coaching elevates players to new levels

Improvement in John Flanagan, Jordan Henderson and Martin Skrtel in particular demonstrate that the Liverpool manager's methods are working.

Brendan Rodgers is subtly showing with every passing day that he is not only a supreme tactician but a very good coach.

The way in which he has helped lesser lights John Flanagan, Jordan Henderson and Martin Skrtel improve their games this season has been remarkable. Flanagan's performance in the Manchester United demolition was a real eye-opener for those who may have missed the intervening period between Rodgers arriving at the club and now.

At the time of the Northern Irishman's introduction many felt that Flanagan's time would be up at Liverpool and given his early showings under the Rodgers regime it seemed only a matter of time.

But credit to the player for buckling down and working on his game. He has clearly listened to his manager in training and applied it out on the pitch and he is now showing what he can do given the opportunity and just as importantly, good coaching.

Flanagan played a huge part in Liverpool's victory at Old Trafford, snapping into challenges and showing the kind of aggression with and without the ball Rodgers demands. In fact there were times when that aggression bordered on recklessness, such was the ferocity of some of his tackles, one of which saw him booked.

He worked hard to provide width for Liverpool's narrow midfield by getting up and down the pitch and was rarely caught out up against Adnan Januzaj. At 21-years-old he can only get better and with Rodgers' guidance who would bet against it.

Elsewhere Jordan Henderson continues to realise his potential that saw Liverpool part with near enough £20 million to secure his services.

He is no longer just an athlete many critics have argued, but a developing footballer with so much to offer his club side and national team. Rodgers must take a lot of credit for that. The time spent on the training field with the midfielder has worked wonders for Henderson's confidence.

He is now more effective at pressing, incisive with passing and vocal amongst the players.

The ultimate compliment you could pay to Rodgers is that he has now engendered leadership qualities in the player who must surely be a contender to wear the captain's armband once Steven Gerrard retires.

In Martin Skrtel there remains a nervousness but for the most part he has adapted to his manager's way of working. That is to be able to play the ball out from the back with composure and to remain focused in the game for all of the 90 minutes.

The Slovakian's hard work in doing these tasks has seen him become the club's number one centre-back, even ahead of vice captain Daniel Agger. It would be a surprise to see him let go in the summer, something that wasn't all that implausible last season.

Of the team to be mentioned those three players have shown that it is not always necessary to spend money on replacements. Sometimes if you work with what you have it can lead to greater reward. Certainly there must be a lot of pride and satisfaction for Rodgers when he sees Flanagan, Henderson and Skrtel perform so well.


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