Liverpool legend Steve Nicol has blasted Brendan Rodgers for fielding a second string XI for the Reds Champions League clash with Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Nicol went as far to say that the Liverpool boss has alienated a lot of the clubs supporters for what was in his view a show of disrespect towards a competition the Reds have enjoyed so much success in.
“What we’ve seen is a manager who is under a lot of pressure,” European Cup winner Nicol said. “This is someone whose side last year were so good and just couldn’t do wrong. Now we’re seeing a manager who is not quite sure how to fix [their problems]. He’s making decisions which are beginning to look, to anyone on the outside, like he’s really struggling.
“In fact, Brendan is really struggling. Liverpool have to get some results very soon to get the fans back onside.
“What he did, against Real Madrid, is put a lot of fans against him. The owners will persevere with him. I don’t think, by any strength of the imagination, he won’t be there at the end of the season, but he’s alienated a lot of fans.
“I’m not happy with the side he started [against Real Madrid] but I’m angrier with what he said after the game. To come out and say his team was superb is mind-blowing.
“This was a team he put out which had no chance of winning the game. He knew that. Why wasn’t he just honest? He could have said, ‘I didn’t think we could win against Real Madrid. We are better off trying to win the game against Chelsea. I’m putting a side out which will try and compete but that’s why I’m doing it’. Everyone, whether they liked it or not, would understand it.
“He had the audacity to come out and say they were superb, having had one shot on goal. I’d love to know who he was praising. The man of the match was Simon Mignolet. Emre Can was a disgrace, he didn’t get out of trot. Lazar Markovic looked lightweight at best and was man handled every time he touched the ball. Javi Manquillo was chasing Marcelo’s number all night.
“I don’t understand, I just wish he was honest and told us the truth. Whichever way you look at the game, Brendan does not come out with any sort of credit or kudos.”