Jordan Henderson is now the Liverpool captain.
The former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing has claimed that Brendan Rodgers once questioned the commitment of both himself and Jordan Henderson – the current Reds captain.
Downing and Henderson were inherited by Rodgers from the Kenny Dalglish regime.
But, while the former player’s Liverpool career only lasted two years, the latter’s flourished under Rodgers and latterly, Jurgen Klopp.
And in an interview with the Training Ground Guru podcast, Downing, now of Blackburn Rovers, via West Ham United and Middlesbrough, said: “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.
“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.
“I was under pressure already, the £20m signing, so I didn’t need more in the press. My commitment has never been questioned by any manager. I said: If you’ve got something to say you should say it to my face.’
“I thought, ‘he’s not wanting me’, but I worked hard, got in the team and we got on after that. At the end of the season he told me he wanted to stay, but then the club accepted an offer from West Ham for me.
“I spoke to Big Sam and he said ‘obviously the manager wants you to go Stew, otherwise the team wouldn’t have accepted the offer’. It would have helped if they’d done it in a better way.
“If he’d just said ‘it’s time for you to go, I want new players in,’ it would have been ok. Brendan was a young manager learning his way, but I prefer a straight-talking, face-to-face conversation.
“That’s why I liked playing for Kenny, Martin and Big Sam, because they were straight-talking men. Just be honest with players.”
Since Rodgers made him captain after Steven Gerrard’s departure in 2015, Henderson has led Liverpool to Champions League, Super Cup and Club World Cup trophies as well as three other finals.
And the 29-year-old seems certain to hold aloft the Reds’ first top-flight title since 1990 later this season.
Klopp’s team are currently 25 points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City, who do have a game in hand.
City, the reigning champions, have only 13 matches left in which to surmount Liverpool’s lead.