Brendan Rodgers oversaw a commendable Premier League title challenge with Liverpool last season yet ran out of steam in the concluding three matches, surrendering the momentum to Manchester City, who reclaimed the crown after a year in local rivals' Manchester United's trophy cabinet.
Rodgers, though, oversaw a number of notable victories - he defeated Manuel Pellegrini's Manchester City at home, David Moyes' Manchester United at Old Trafford (and at home) and slaughtered Arsene Wenger's Arsenal at Anfield. The only manager of an elite club in England who Rodgers failed to return a result against was Jose Mourinho, of Chelsea.
Next season, Rodgers will pit his tactical wits against a renowned coach, a titan of football management, as Louis van Gaal takes the vacant United throne - yet Rodgers does not shirk from the challenge but, rather, embraces it and the Ulsterman has even said that he has been studying the Dutchman for "many years".
"[United] were looking to appoint someone with experience and certainly Van Gaal is someone I have studied and looked at for many years," said Rodgers to talkSPORT recently.
"He has had great success and he has a way and a vision of how he wants the game to be played. He works with young players. Certainly his profile fits a club of Manchester United’s history.
"As a young manager, I'm really looking forward to working against another great coach in the world game."
The fixture list for the 2014-15 season will not be revealed for another couple of months, but if the Reds are drawn against their North-West rivals early then Rodgers will be hoping to do against van Gaal what he did against erstwhile United boss David Moyes - get a confidence-sapping victory in early, as Liverpool edged the Stretford side 1-0 in just the third round of Premier League matches.