Blackburn Rovers winger Stewart Downing has revealed that he didn’t enjoy working under Brendan Rodgers and got the impression he wasn’t wanted at Liverpool.
The 35-year-old signed for the Reds in 2011 under Kenny Dalglish, but didn’t hit the ground running and struggled with expectations.
“I realised the change in expectations straight away after the move,” he told Training Ground Guru.
“I’d come from Villa, where if we finished sixth it was a great season, to Liverpool, where sixth was a disaster. You come with a big price tag to a big club and you know you’re going to be under scrutiny.”
Rodgers was put in charge at Anfield ahead of the 2012/13 season, and Downing says it was strange working with the Northern Irishman.
Perhaps the most sensational thing he claimed was that the former Liverpool boss once questioned Jordan Henderson’s commitment to the club.
“The second year at Liverpool with Brendan was strange really. I didn’t get the feeling at the start that he wanted me, maybe because I was a Kenny signing,” Downing continued.
“There was one point when he questioned our commitment; me, Jordan Henderson and Jose Enrique, which was strange, because I’d been in his office two days before that and nothing got said.”
Henderson has obviously gone on to become the captain of the Reds, lifted the Champions League trophy – as well as the Super Cup and Club World Cup – and looks likely to add a Premier League title to his growing list of major honours.
When talking about success and ability, hindsight is a wonderful thing but something I don’t think you could ever accuse Hendo of is lacking commitment.
Since signing for Liverpool in 2011, the midfielder has given nothing but 110% and these past two seasons will live long in the memory of every supporter of this great club.