LIVERPOOL BOSS Brendan Rodgers is relieved speculation linking him with Tottenham never came to fruition, labelling it: “A close shave.”
Rodgers was mooted as a possible successor to Harry Redknapp at White Hart Lane in March 2012 amid rumours at the time that the managerial veteran was set to take charge of England.
Redknapp, however, was overlooked by the Football Association in favour of Roy Hodgson, but left the club three months later, some two weeks after Rodgers departed Swansea City to move to Anfield.
Andre Villas-Boas was in turn handed the reins at Tottenham, but his tenure lasted less than 18 months, prompting Rodgers to express how fortunate he is to be at a club where he is being given time to make a lasting difference.
When probed for his views on recent events at the north London club following the departure of Villas-Boas after Liverpool’s 5-0 win at White Hart Lane last Sunday, Rodgers said: “(It was) a close shave.
“They are a great club and one of the things I looked at was their history. They’d had 11 managers in 18 years there. I needed to create something. I needed to go to a club who were going to give me that opportunity.
“I am more than happy with the choice I made to come here and hopefully in time it will prove to be the right one.”
The departure of Gareth Bale from Tottenham to Real Madrid in September left an attacking void that Villas-Boas struggled to fill, even though the former Porto and Chelsea manager did spend heavily.
Rodgers has sympathy for Villas-Boas over Bale’s exit, particularly in light of the way he managed to persuade Luis Suarez to stay in the close-season and the subsequent glut of goals that have followed – 17 in 11 Premier League games.
He added: “Obviously there have been difficulties from Bale leaving. It shows you that when you have someone with that X-factor, sometimes eight, nine or 10 players can’t replace that.
“That was why we fought to keep Luis Suarez here because he is a top player. He is a performer.”