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20th Jul 2016

Daniel Agger reveals how his relationship with Brendan Rodgers broke down

This was very cold from Rodgers

Robert Redmond

This was very cold from Brendan Rodgers.

Daniel Agger’s interview with The Guardian is a must-read, and not just for Liverpool fans. The Danish defender, who retired from professional football in June, aged just 31, opens up on his injury struggles over the past few years.

Agger revealed how he became overly-dependent on anti-inflammatory drugs in an attempt to prolong his career, how he has struggled to overcome injuries since 2008 and how his body just gave up on him earlier this year.

The former Liverpool defender also offers some insight into how his relationship with Brendan Rodgers broke down.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Premier League

Agger had been at Liverpool for six years when the Northern Irishman was appointed manager in the summer of 2012. An elegant, technically gifted defender, comfortable in possession and capable of playing out from the back, one would have imagined Agger was ideal for Rodgers’ philosophy of “death by football.”

However, the Dane revealed that two incidents led to him being discarded by Rodgers.

Firstly, Agger made a mistake against Southampton in September 2013, costing a goal. The defender played despite being injured, but Rodgers had little sympathy.

“After the game he did not speak to me. Something went wrong. 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.”

The moment that spelled the end of Agger’s time at Anfield appears to have come in February 2014. Rodgers criticised Agger and Martin Skrtel for allowing Swansea City striker Wilifried Bony too much time on the ball.

Agger felt this way unfair, and let his manager know at half-time.

“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.'”

According to Agger, Rodgers response was cold.

“Rodgers looked at me and muttered: ‘Whatever.’ I was substituted 12 minutes later.”

Agger left Liverpool for Brondby six months later.

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