Brendan Rodgers Talks Louis Van Gaal, Manchester United and Luis Suarez

Matt Jones@@MattJFootballFeatured ColumnistJanuary 27, 2016

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Brendan Rodgers, manager of Liverpool looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on September 26, 2015 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has backed Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, insisting the Red Devils players are not doing enough.

Speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast on talkSPORT, Rodgers touched upon a host of topics, including potentially managing the Red Devils, his former side and ex-player Luis Suarez. The 43-year-old was sacked by Liverpool earlier this season and replaced by Jurgen Klopp.

But the Northern Irishman defended Van Gaal, who is under pressure at Old Trafford, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News.

I see a lot of the criticism he gets but there's no way that Louis van Gaal is sending the players out to have that few amount of shots on target.

This is a guy who's been around a long time and he built a team in '95 at Ajax that everybody talked about for years, it was a real attacking blend of football. I think it's a lot about the players as well. You look at United, do they have the players that can excite like what they had did before? That's part to do with it as well.

Jon Super/Associated Press

That’s an opinion shared by another former Premier League manager, Harry Redknapp, who recently posted the following on social media:

Granted, the players do have a degree of responsibility when they cross the white line. A side containing the attacking talents of Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Memphis Depay and Juan Mata should be playing a more enterprising style of football and in the case of most of those players they’ve underwhelmed this term.

However, the consistent manner in which the Red Devils have toiled in their attacking play stems back to the manager. As we can see here, United have been absolutely awful when it comes to starting games at home, per Dale Johnson of ESPN FC:

There’s been plenty of speculation about Van Gaal’s future, with Jose Mourinho linked what many anticipate to be a vacant post in the summer, per Miguel Delaney of the Independent on Sunday. However, Rodgers thinks it’s a job, despite its pedigree, he could never take on as a former Liverpool boss.

“When you manage Liverpool you know the Manchester United job is gone,” he told the show, per Luckhurst.

Rodgers doesn't think he could ever take on the job at Old Trafford.
Rodgers doesn't think he could ever take on the job at Old Trafford.Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The main driving force behind the team's title push in 2013-14 was Barcelona forward Luis Suarez, who left the Reds that summer. The Uruguayan revealed recently that he would consider a possible return to Anfield one day, per ESPN (h/t the Press Association and the Guardian) and Rodgers told talkSPORT that wouldn’t surprise him:

Luis is enjoying it out there at Barcelona, but I think if he did ever come back there would certainly be only one club he’d want to play for.

He absolutely loved it at Liverpool, the supporters adored him and he gave absolutely everything. Barcelona was an incredible move for Luis, and it’s such a great credit to him that his move made an already world class team even better.

It’s a joy to watch him score goals and work as hard as he does for one of the best teams in the world…but you never know.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 24:  Liverpool FC Manager Brendan Rodgers (L) looks on as Luis Suarez of Liverpool is substituted into the match during the match between the Melbourne Victory and Liverpool at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 24, 2013 in M
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

As we can see here courtesy of OptaJose, Suarez has been in magnificent form in his second season as a Blaugrana player:

Although Liverpool supporters will continue to dream of a possible reunion with their former talisman, it’d be a huge surprise to see Barcelona let him leave the club any time soon. Suarez has taken his game on to new heights at the Camp Nou and at the moment is arguably the finest No. 9 in world football.

Rodgers’ own stewardship of Suarez and the Liverpool side of 2013-14 is likely to be enough to land him a decent job somewhere down the line. It’ll be intriguing to see just how he fares when he does get back into management and who will be in charge of Manchester United when he does. 


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