Agger discusses bizarre Hodgson tactics; hails Rafa

Date published: Wednesday 20th July 2016 11:36

Daniel Agger has revealed the bizarre training methods employed by Roy Hodgson, but praised former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez.

Agger worked under Hodgson during the former England manager’s tenure as Liverpool boss from July 2010 to January 2011, where the Reds slumped after Benitez’s departure.

The 68-year-old disappointed at Anfield and oversaw a number of terrible results, including defeats to Northampton and Blackpool.

He left the club by mutual consent just six months into his reign and, at one point, with the Reds 18th after seven games, admitted they were in a relegation battle.

In an interview with Danish publication Jyllands-Posten, the recently-retired Agger discussed the strange methods Hodgson would use in training.

“I completely lost my desire to come to work because his training sessions were really hard to get through,” he said, as translated by The Guardian. “Not physically but mentally. It was the same and the same and the same. Day in and day out.

“Often we had eight forwards playing against me and Martin Skrtel [apparently to let Fernando Torres score to regain his confidence]. Skrtel and I had a really hard training session as we were defending against eight with two but the eight players attacking were just faffing around. They had hardly run a kilometre and it was so uninspiring.”

Hodgson replaced Benitez in summer 2010, with the Spaniard’s six-year spell as manager having started brilliantly but ended acrimoniously.

The current Newcastle boss won the Champions League in his first season at Anfield, and almost delivered a Premier League title in 2008 with Agger, who he signed from Brondby in 2006, a focal point of his success.

“He was, without a doubt, the best tactician I have played for,” the 31-year-old said. “He could change formation and tactics three times in one game.

“We practiced his different systems so we knew what to do in different ones. I also remember when we went 1-0 down against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. Benitez was there [pushing his hands downwards as to say ‘stay calm’]. A few of us panicked a little bit and thought we’d get our arses kicked but he was ice cool. He just stood there on the sidelines and said: take it easy, carry on doing what you are doing – and in the end we won 2-1.

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