In a special edition of EPL Stoppage Time, Thomas Stelzer has managed an exclusive interview with outgoing Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers. Read on to find out what lies ahead for the Northern Irishman, whose names were in those envelopes, and how he’ll miss working with the players at Melwood.
TBFC: It’s only been a couple of days since you were sacked as Liverpool manager. How are you feeling now?
BR: First of all I’d just like to say, you sack potatoes, you don’t sack managers.
Ok. So how does it feel having been fired?
You fire cannons. I prefer to say my road has taken a bit of a detour.
Are you proud of what you accomplished at the club?
I think the statistics speak for themselves. If you take out all the matches we lost or drew, then we had a perfect winning record in my time there.
Are you disappointed you couldn’t manage to win any silverware with Liverpool?
If I can correct you, we did manage a trophy in my time there, the LMA Manager of the Year, which is something we were all very proud of at the club. Me especially.
Now that you’re no longer Liverpool manager, can you reveal what happened with the infamous names in envelopes?
(Laughs) I wish I could. Honestly, what happened there was after we got home, I left the envelopes on the sideboard and my housekeeper’s actually thought they needed to be posted. So what’s she done is, popped some stamps on them and sent them off. Now, they had no addresses on them, so I don’t know where they ended up. But if anyone out there ended up with a blank letter with ‘Jose Enrique’ written inside, there’s your reason.
Will you miss the players?
I always said I saw the players as being like my own sons. And I still do. Maybe now it feels to them like their parents are getting divorced and their father’s no longer living at the house with them, but I want them to know that daddy still loves them.
What are your plans for the near future?
Well as I always used to tell my players, ‘si rex regum es et coronam domini sui fati’, which is Latin for ‘if you have a crown on then you’re a king, and kings are masters of their own destiny’, which is to say I haven’t decided yet.
Are you worried you may have blown your chance at managing a big club?
When I took over at Liverpool, the team had finished eighth the season before. If you look at where I’ve left the club, they’re only one point off that position, so I think it’s clear I can maintain the standards at any club, big or small.
I’ve always considered myself to be the Northern Irish Brendan Rodgers, so really the sky’s the limit as far as I’m concerned.
Do you want to return to management as soon as possible?
I’m sure I can speak for most of my colleagues when I say managing a club is like eating a good meal – it’s satisfying but you also need it just to survive.
You can without water for days, but you can’t live without hope. So I’ll put it this way, if I don’t find a position soon, I’ll be very thirsty… and possibly a wee bit hungry too.
Have you thrown your hat in the ring for any managerial vacancies?
There’s a great statistic in football, that you’re 37% more likely to score if you have a shot on target and it’s the same for managers. People may already know I’m a wonderful technician of outstanding character, but it would be foolish of me to not be putting myself out there.
Brendan, thanks for your time.