Daniel Agger has revealed the extent to which his relationship with manager Brendan Rodgers broke down at Liverpool.
Agger left Liverpool in 2014 after eight successful years at the club, having signed from Brondby in 2006.
The now-retired Dane was a first-team fixture for the Reds under Rafael Benitez, Roy Hodgson – whose bizarre tactics he has discussed – and Kenny Dalglish, but was phased out under the Northern Irishman.
Agger claimed that his relationship with Rodgers broke down after a 1-0 defeat to Southampton in September 2013, where he was at fault for Dejan Lovren’s winner.
“After the game he did not speak to me. Something went wrong,” he told Jyllands-Posten, as translated by The Guardian. ‘I was the first to admit that it was my fault. I apologised but as one of the physios said there was no need to apologise as the other 50 times that I had said that I was ready and played, even if I wasn’t fit, it had been fine. In those games one couldn’t see it but then there was this game, where I could not keep track [of my player].
“Maybe he felt that I wasn’t good enough and that Mamadou Sakho, Kolo Touré and Martin Skrtel were better then me. Then fair enough because the most important thing is for Liverpool to win football games. That’s the most important thing for me too. But in 42 days I went from being first choice and the club’s new vice-captain to be fourth choice centre-back. So I have thought a lot about it.”
A matter of months later, Agger would confront Rodgers when the manager again criticised both his centre-halves during a 2-1 win over Swansea in February 2014. Rodgers had reprimanded Agger and Martin Skrtel for allowing Wilfried Bony to have too much possession.
“Everyone was quiet but I stood up and said: ‘How can you stand there and say that when we are only doing what you have been going on about all week.’
“Rodgers looked at me and muttered: ‘Whatever.’ I was substituted 12 minutes later.”