Blasted by Balotelli yet adored by Dembele; Rodgers remains an enigma.
Appropriately enough, Brendan Rodgers appears to have taken the title of football’s most divisive manager from his Liverpool predecessor Rafael Benitez.
However, regardless of whether you think he’s a visionary tactician with the penchant for dragging players up to unexpected levels or an overrated tinkerman unable to organise a defence, it’s his man-management style that has often been subject to public questioning.
Mario Balotelli described his relationship with Rodgers as a ‘disaster’, Steven Gerrard claimed Luis Suarez was almost driven to Arsenal by the Northern Irishman while Daniel Agger confirmed in an interview with The Guardian that he was left isolated and alienated by his manager’s silent treatment after a costly error against Southampton.
However, Divock Origi’s explanation as to why he decided Anfield was the environment to fulfil his potential over, of all clubs, Bayern Munich paints a rather different picture.
“I came to Liverpool, I saw the facilities, I took some time out of my vacation to visit Melwood and speak with Brendan Rodgers,” the Belgian told The Mirror of his 2015 signing.
“When I came in, everyone knew my name, they knew who I was and they were looking at a video of me even from the under-15s.
“They knew about my qualities and when I saw the values of the club – passing, pressing, fast players – I was like: ‘this is the place I want to go.’
Furthermore, there has not been the slightest hint of discontent amongst Rodgers’ playing staff at Celtic.
In fact, rejuvenated midfield pairing Scott Brown and Stuart Armstrong have both credited their excellent recent form to their manager’s tactical and personal approach while talismanic forward, and prized asset, Moussa Dembele has responded to each and every question over his future by stating his aim to remain by Rodgers’ side for the long term.
Perhaps he’s like any other manager in that ups inevitably follow downs and vice versa.
But, quite clearly, claims that Rodgers lacks an ability to connect with his players is well wide of the mark.