?Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed in an interview the difficulties he faced in keeping Luis Suarez at the club during his time at Anfield.
Rodgers, now in charge of Scottish giants Celtic, spoke honestly about the relentless pressure of managing a club of Liverpool’s stature, whilst admitting that the club did well to keep hold of Suarez for as long as they did.
Speaking exclusively to ?The Coaches Voice, Rodgers said;
“When I first went in there, Luis was destined for ?Juventus, and we were able to talk him round into staying, telling him that the team would be built around him and his qualities.
“Second season, we obviously had the ?Arsenal connection. Then he went on to have his best season and then that following season we couldn’t keep him.”
The Uruguayan striker eventually moved to ?Barcelona for a fee of £65m during the summer of 2014, with Rodgers acknowledging that managers are powerless when a player has made the decision to move on.
“You always felt at Liverpool that you could pay the wages and you could pay the money, but if it was through choice, if the player wanted to move on then that’s what he would do. So there was real disappointment.”
Rodgers masterminded Liverpool’s surge towards the Premier League title during the 2013/2014 season, but struggled to maintain the success achieved whilst Suarez was at the club. He was sacked after the Merseyside derby in October 2015, and Rodgers revealed the pressure and expectations of managing the Reds had taken its toll on him.
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“I wanted to go away and reflect on my time at Liverpool, but also to regain two elements that I believe are absolutely vital to any manager: energy, and happiness.
“No matter what you do in life, I feel that you need both. But, in particular for a football manager, and for me at that time, they were crucial. If you are energised and happy, you can do your job much better.”
The Northern Irishman took charge at Celtic Park in 2016, leading the Bhoys to the fourth domestic treble in the club’s history, going unbeaten in the process. Their record run of 69 games without defeat was ended last month with a 4-0 defeat at Hearts.