Former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has criticised Brendan Rodgers over his remarks three seasons ago. The Northern Irishman upon his arrival from Swansea in 2011 had cast aside some players he felt did not fit his philosophy of football. While Andy Carroll was quickly cast aside to West Ham on loan, Stewart Downing was penciled down for departure, but he eventually stayed back to fight for his place. He did work his way back into Brendan Rodgers’ plans, playing consistently for Liverpool, but not before the former Swansea manager had questioned the England winger’s work rate.
“You have to work hard, you have to fight for the shirt and if you don’t do that then longer-term you won’t be here. It is as simple as that really. He [Downing] is under no illusions that he has to fight.” that was Brendan Rodgers in September, 2012 few months after he was appointed.
It was a comment the Middleborough youth product did not respond to at the time, but despite leaving Anfield to join West Ham he has now sought to take back his pound of flesh by criticising the man at the helms at Anfield.
“Rodgers is the one manager I had problems with. To come out in the papers and basically slag off your player by saying you don’t try-that was poor.
“I don’t understand why some managers do it. You can lose the player completely. If fans read that you don’t try, it gives the wrong impression. That kind of thing can tarnish a player’s reputation.”
While different managers have their approach to handling issues with players, some tow the line of going to the public, others adopt internal mechanisms to handle such matters, yet it could easily be gleaned from the words of Stewart Downing that he was hurt by the words of Brendan Rodgers. It is water under the bridge now as both player and manager are no longer in the same roof.
Stewart Downing had arrived from Aston Villa in a £18 million deal sanctioned by Kenny Daglish. It was no fault of his that he did not fit into the plans of the manager (Rodgers), he was brought in initially to play in system that Brendan Rodgers considered alien to his philosophy of the passing game.
The public criticism of players is something that Brendan Rodgers would have to iron out of his management style. He seems to get wholly emotional at times. He did criticised Dejan Lovren publicly for his underwhelming performance in the defeat against Aston Villa.
It remains to seen whether it for the best as the seasons continues.