In his first interview since being dismissed from Liverpool back in October, former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers sat down with the team at Sky Sports to discuss a number of different topics, but much of the patter just felt like a precursor to when he’d be pressed on Anfield’s much maligned Transfer Committee — a topic the Northern Irishman was keen to expand upon.
“As a manager you’ll always be the figurehead but there’s a recruitment team in place – guys who’ll work very hard,” said Rodgers. “It was a group decision; it was certainly not something where I would have the sole final say,” he explained, contradicting numerous assertions to the contrary during his time in charge of Liverpool. “It’s difficult because you want a player in but if the player is not on the list, you’d have to take someone.”
Video courtesy of SportingMoments
Although punters and pundits alike tend to ignore important points like net spend, much has been made of the copious amounts of money shelled out by the Anfield outfit during the Northern Irishman’s time in charge and the relative lack of quality to show for it. Obviously, there is no better example to relate this point than the series of events that saw Luis Suarez move to Barcelona, the Reds miss out on a replacement in Alexis Sanchez and the panic buy of Mario Balotelli from AC Milan — a calculated and ultimately shambolic bit of transfer market gambling that Rodgers has made every effort to distance himself from.
“The huge blow was that we thought we were getting Alexis Sánchez and that he’d be a like-for-like replacement [for Suárez] in terms of how he pressed the game, his aggression,” mused the ex-Reds boss. “We thought he’d be perfect, it’d be a smooth transition and Rickie Lambert would come in and be an option if we needed something else in the game. But we didn’t get Alexis Sánchez and, bless Rickie, there was a lot of pressure on him when really that wasn’t the plan,” lamented the Northern Irishman before relating how Balotelli ended up returning to the Premier League. “So we had to bring in someone, Mario has big talent – I wasn’t thinking I’d be any different in terms of managers who’ve had issues with him – and at that moment, we didn’t really have another option. It was something that didn’t quite work for us and it cost us.”