Remember this idiot from over the summer?
It would be difficult to forget Aidy Ward, the man who helped drive Raheem Sterling out of Liverpool – claiming to the media his client wouldn’t sign a new contract for ‘£900k-per-week’ (via Evening Standard).
His behaviour and his comments made it impossible for Sterling to stay at Anfield, and earned his clients boos at every stadium he plays at.
In the end the despised agent got his wish and the prodigal Englishman with the attitude problem moved to Manchester City for £49m.
And months into the season, Ward’s decided to stick the knife into Brendan Rodgers once again – hinting that Sterling may have stayed at Liverpool if Jurgen Klopp would have been appointed in the summer.
The agent was criticised universally for his role in the most discussed transfer saga of the summer, but places the blame solely on Rodgers’ actions – starting way back in 2012 when our former boss criticised the youngster in the infamous Being Liverpool documentary.
While Ward did become a hated figure, probably rightly – the comments suggest that there were perhaps two sides to the story – and are painful to hear considering Sterling’s scoring hat-tricks for his new club – while we now have a boss he’d have liked to play under.
“Let me tell you about advice,” Ward began. ‘In that documentary Being Liverpool, when Brendan Rodgers pulled Raheem on camera – it went on TV – and said he’d be on the first plane home (from a pre-season trip to the USA) if he answered back to him again, what do you think Raheem did after that?
“He called me, telling me he had not said what the manager had accused him of saying. I listened, and then said to Raheem: “Go and apologise to the manager, and get your head down and work hard”.
“Brendan was so impressed that Raheem had apologised that he then put him in the first-team. Do all these people think that was me giving him bad advice?
“I was being criticised and my back was against the wall a bit, so I would have changed the way some stuff came out into the public domain, that’s my only regret.
“I became the bad guy, that’s how I was portrayed,” he said. “It started from the PR behind Liverpool. There is no issue with the fans there, they don’t know the full story, and there are lots of good people at Liverpool.
“I had no problem with (chief executive) Ian Ayre for example. I have no issue with anyone but Rodgers. He had a massive job with massive funds. How did he do? Good coach, but as a manager I didn’t like certain things about how he dealt with Raheem.
“Fifty per cent of the players would probably tell you Brendan is not a good manager, but he is a good coach.
“The new Liverpool manager probably would have been a great fit for Raheem – passionate, disciplined in the right way, new ideas, not afraid of trying new things,’ said Ward. ‘He’ll do great at Liverpool.
“Would Raheem under Klopp have been a good scenario? Yes, 100 per cent, definitely, mainly because of the person Klopp is – the passion, the drive, the emotion, wanting to achieve.
“Raheem has all of this, but you won’t always see it outwardly. Working with Klopp – that could have been great. He’s going to get the best out of those players. It could have been a dream come true.
“Raheem could’ve stayed, he should be at Liverpool. I think for me it was like he was being told to be a good boy and sign a contract. In December I spoke to Liverpool and said we’ll sign a contract if there is a buy-out clause – those clauses are now common practice. They said no to that.
“Then there was an underhandedness, there were sly remarks. In press conferences, Brendan told everyone Raheem would sign – why do that? I knew, Brendan knew and Liverpool knew there was an issue. Right now he probably should be a Liverpool player, but he’s not and he’s in a great place at City.”
“Last season I thought subliminal messages were being sent to Raheem. Why would Liverpool play him at left wing back? Would you play Simon Mignolet up front? I think it was the game against Manchester United, he was played as an attacking midfielder, moved to right back, then up front, then left back, and eventually back to attacking midfielder. I was watching thinking: “Well this is interesting”.”