Brendan Rodgers may just have elevated his popularity level at Liverpool after taking Sir Alex Ferguson to task over his controversial new book.
Rodgers claims the Manchester United legend has broken a code of trust with his former players by speaking ill of them in his new autobiography.
Rodgers insisted on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast show, aired by TalkSport radio, that anybody who watches football can see the Scot is wrong about Gerrard. Laurie Whitwell of the Daily Mail provides the quotes:
Everyone who's seen that would probably say it's more than harsh.
I've watched Steven over many years and recognised he was a top player but it's only when you come in and work with the man and realise how professional he is on a daily basis that you understand his performance level.
This is a guy who at 33 years of age who is a top, top player. He's a wonderful talent and I don't think anyone could argue.
Gerrard's ability to drag substandard Liverpool sides to major glory, as he did in the 2005 Champions League final in particular, renders any claim that he is "not a top, top player" ridiculous.
Ferguson did not only put the boot into Gerrard in his book. He also claimed Rodgers is eight players short of a good team, per Ian Ladyman and Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail.
Former Anfield favourite Rafael Benitez came under fire, as reported in the same article, while the Merseysiders were criticised as a whole by Ferguson for their defence of Luis Suarez in the racism row involving Patrice Evra, per Cross of the Daily Mirror.
Rodgers has not commented on criticism of the club but insists Ferguson, who is the most successful manager in United’s history, has let the Red Devils down by showing such disloyalty to the men who helped him win trophies.
Roy Keane, David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney all drew negative comments from the 71-year-old—per Sky Sports—and Rodgers says Ferguson has shown his true colours. Whitwell has the quotes:
Anyone who's been in football knows that whatever is said behind closed doors and in the changing room is something you wouldn't want to hear again …
You would like to think you would still have some old school values and ethics that whatever is said you take it on the chin and keep it behind closed doors and move on.
Certainly there can be no denying that Ferguson has mistreated the trust placed in him by his players during their time at the club.
From the moment he stepped down on the final day of last season, he instantly turned his back on Rooney by revealing to the media that the player wanted to leave the club, per Metro.
The book should attract admiration for its honesty, but Keane told ITV on Tuesday Ferguson doesn’t know the meaning of the word “loyalty”—per the Telegraph—which is hard to argue after the Scot’s multiple attacks.
Keane, Beckham, van Nistelrooy and Rooney are among the most revered players to have worn a United shirt in the past two decades. Regardless of what went on behind closed doors, fans do not need to have memories of such club legends stained.
Ferguson’s lasting legacy will be of the many trophies he brought to Old Trafford, but it also threatens to be tainted by the dirty washing he has chosen to air in public.
Furthermore, David Moyes was Ferguson’s choice of replacement at United, and currently Moyes’ side are six points behind Liverpool in the league. A Liverpool side that is eight players short of a good team of course.