at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Brendan Rodgers has revealed he avoided watching any of his much-lampooned appearances on the club’s reality TV show, Being: Liverpool.
The new Anfield manager was compared in some quarters to pompous David Brent from The Office during the fly-on-the-wall documentary’s recent run on Channel 5, and ridiculed for a scene in which he pulled out three envelopes in front of his players claiming they contained the names of players who would ‘let us down this year’.
But the 39-year-old could not miss criticism of his new-broom approach from his predecessor Kenny Dalglish, who pointedly said in a radio interview last week: ‘There is no need to reinvent the game. People think they can reinvent it, no chance.’
Rodgers, who found filming had already started when he arrived at the club, insists he has the mental toughness to overcome the mickey-taking.
Liverpool face Newcastle today in the bottom half of the Premier League table and still reeling from a midweek Capital One Cup defeat by Swansea City which had fans of Rodgers’ old club mockingly singing to him: ‘You’re getting sacked in the morning.’
‘You have to be a certain breed to be a manager,’ said Rodgers of his difficult start at Anfield. ‘As long as my employers and my own supporters recognise the job I am doing, that is the most important thing for me.
‘In terms of the television programme, I never watched it. It was up and running when I came in so it was something I had no choice in.’
The Liverpool manager is trying to dampen expectations after breaking up the team that won the League Cup under Dalglish and admits this could be a ‘transition season’.
But Rodgers says a lot of work has to be done after Dalglish’s £70million spending on Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing – none of whom he sees as first-team players now. The club are also lumbered with Joe Cole’s £100,000-a-week wages as they seek bargains in January.
‘The investment as everyone knows over a small period of time was very big for the club so this was always going to be a season of assessment and bringing in players that fit the model,’ he said.
‘I think it will be a great day when Liverpool can compete for £20m players again because that is where the club should be. But the reality is where we want to be and where we are at is two different places.’
Goalkeeper Pepe Reina and full-back Glen Johnson face late checks on hamstring injuries before Rodgers names his side to face Newcastle.