Treatment from Rodgers still irks departed Liverpool star Agger

Daniel Agger

Daniel Agger claims Brendan Rodgers' mistreatment of him left him no choice but to leave Liverpool in the summer.

Former Liverpool centre-back Daniel Agger has told DR Sporten that manager Brendan Rodgers’ constant inconsistencies are what forced him to leave the Reds in the summer.

Agger, 30, sealed a £3 million return to childhood club Brondby in August following eight-and-a half seasons at Anfield, having seen the arrivals of Mamadou Sakho and Dejan Lovren push him out of contention for a regular starting place.

A firm fan favourite with the Kop after 236 total appearances, the Dane has nevertheless been left with a bitter taste in his mouth over how his stint with the Premier League club ended.

Rejecting a move to Barcelona in the summer of 2013 after being promised a crucial role in the side, he instead was forced watch on as Sakho and Martin Skrtl established themselves as Rodgers’ first-choice centre-back pairing.

The turning point, however, came after a knee problem popped up towards the closing stages of the season, just when he had won his place back in the starting XI amid a run of six consecutive starts.

Rested for April’s 2-1 win at West Ham United, Rodgers promised him a spot in the line-up for the following match against fellow title-challengers Manchester City but, when the afternoon came, he discovered his name among the substitutes.

“On the day there was no turning back,” he said. “I had to get away.

“The doctor and physical therapist told me under no circumstances should I play the match against West Ham and I said I would play – I would not give the manager an excuse to drop me for the big game against Manchester City the following week.

“The agreement was that the doctor and physiotherapist gave the manager a message, and the message back was that I would be rested against West Ham so I would be completely ready for the City clash.”

Agger made just one more appearance the rest of campaign as Liverpool lost the Premier League title to the Blues and, when he returned for preseason a few months later, confronted Rodgers over his treatment and desire to move on.

“I told him: 'Listen, I do not believe that you have treated me properly’. He accepted and seemed interested,” Agger continued.

“He then returned and said he wanted to keep me, and that he needed me next year. It was the first time we communicated properly in a year's time.

“We had a damn good dialogue, but I did not really know if it was grandstanding. I felt that the words were a bit empty compared to what he had said the season before, so I did not see hope.”

With a subsequent search for a new club leading him back to the team he left to join Liverpool in 2006, Agger’s departure seemed to be felt over the first part of the season, as defensive frailties proceeded to cost Rodgers' side a number of games.

Things have since picked up following the recent decision to shift to a 3-4-3 formation but, with Emre Can forced to deputise in the new-look back three, one can’t help but feel the 66-times capped international would have been well-used in recent months.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that his grievances on Rodgers bear a striking resemblance to those of Andy Carroll, who claimed last month that he had lost respect for the Northern Irishman during his time at Anfield due to his bizarre contradictions.

“With Brendan Rodgers, there was a lot going on,” Carroll told The Times. “What he was saying to me and what was actually happening [were different things]. He was telling me one thing to my face, then I’d leave the training ground and he would ring me and tell me a completely different thing.

“He would say: ‘You’re going to play every week, you’re going to play every game up front with [Luis] Suarez’. I’d leave and get home and he would ring me and say: ‘Fulham and West Ham want you and I think it’s best you should go.’”

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