Patience is a dying quality in modern football. It seems these days as though criticism is the norm and praise is the reluctant alternative, especially when it comes to Premier League managers.
This culture of negativity is certainly one of the causes of England’s international failures – and it will not help our domestic clubs either.
Rodgers’ Liverpool have managed just two points from four games, including a particularly uninspiring defeat at the hands of Arsenal, while Villas-Boas’s Spurs only grabbed their first win on Sunday after four attempts despite what appeared to be a simple list of opening fixtures.
What connects the two of them? They have only been in the job a few months and the sort of projects they have in mind do not happen overnight.
Rodgers has been tasked with dismantling Kenny Dalglish’s team of over-priced under-achievers – Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Andy Carroll form an expensive group of unwanted players and financial constraints dictated a lot of what the Northern Irishman was able to do in the transfer window.
Villas-Boas, on the other hand, has had to replace the outgoing duo of Luka Modrić and Rafael van der Vaart.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, Moussa Dembélé and Clint Dempsey should do a decent job between them, although João Moutinho would have been quite a catch.
Rodgers and Villas-Boas have each seen their stock fall in the last month – although the latter was hardly held in high regard in England following his spell at Chelsea last season.
As former leaders of a supposed exciting new generation of managers, the fans’ lack of patience is having a damaging effect on careers filled with potential.
As these ambitious young talents take on the task of overhauling two of the biggest clubs in England, give them time to do so. Otherwise they really ought not to have bothered turning up in the first place.
It is not often that City, with all their millions, go somewhere as huge underdogs but a tie at the Bernabéu certainly represents that.
However, on the face of it Roberto Mancini’s men have nothing to fear – this is the one game where they can play with real freedom and see what comes from it.
It is undoubtedly the toughest game in the group, so to get it out of the way early is a bonus and anything we pick up will be gratefully received.
And the Citizens head to Madrid on the back of two great pieces of news: David Silva’s signing of a five-year contract and the possibility that Sergio Aguero could start after recovering from a knee injury.
The Spanish champions have lost two of their opening four league games, and there could not be a better time to face up to Jose Mourinho’s side and send an early message out to the rest of Europe: City are genuine contenders.
ENHANCED ODDS: Get 7/1 on Man Utd to beat Swansea