Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers talks about the good start, his admiration for Arsene Wenger, return of Coutinho and Daniel Agger’s situation ahead of the big game against Arsenal FC.
Liverpool travel to face Arsenal in what will be the most awaited game of this weekend. Both the clubs have started the season brightly and are currently separated by just two points at the top of the table. For both these sides this will be the biggest test they have faced this season in the Premier League.
Brendan Rodgers spoke to the press ahead of this fixture and the former Swansea manager was delighted with the start they have had this season. But he believes that they still have a lot to improve on as they have fairly young squad at the moment. He has refused to get carried away on their current position in the league.
“I believe we are in a good moment.
“We have started the season as we would have wanted – strong, putting a marker down that we’re going to be consistent and after that early period, we’ve been playing very well.
“I think that we can get better and we can improve. We’ve got a lot of young payers that are still developing and improving.
“That also goes for the front two, who everyone is talking about. Daniel [Sturridge] is 24 and he’s improving all the time.
“With Luis Suarez, everyone talks about his goals and his work-rate, but I’ve seen an improvement in his footballing ability and his maturity this year. So that really bodes well for us.
“We won’t get carried away. We’ll have to keep our concentration and continue to work very hard on the training field.
“We were happy with how we worked last weekend against West Brom, but it was forgotten about very quickly and our focus has been very much on this game and the quality of our training this week has been outstanding.
“We arrive in the game really confident and high in belief, coming off the back of an outstanding performance.”– The Liverpool manager said.
Brendan Rodgers is also aware of the quality that Arsenal possess in their ranks and has heaped praise on their big summer signing Mesut Ozil. The Liverpool manager has also expressed his admiration for Arsene Wenger and how he has changed English football since his arrival. He also believes that Wenger has a very good chance of ending his trophy drought this season.
“Arsenal are an excellent side, who have started the season very well. They can score goals and they have some top players.
“Ozil is a wonderful player. I watched him as a young player and it was a surprise that Real Madrid moved him on. He’s a talent, he’s gifted, and he’s got a wonderful touch and good pace. He can create goals and score goals.
“Arsene is a manager I respect. When he came into the league here more than 15 years ago he changed the coaching landscape, really. He came in with his ideas and his methods of work. He inherited an outstanding group of players, but over time he added to that and changed the identity of the club.
“Really, now, Arsenal Football Club is very much Arsene Wenger in every way, on and off the field. He’s a man who has been brilliant for British football and a guy who has already won the league and other trophies.
“He’s been fighting over the last number of years to win trophies and I’m sure he’ll see this year as a chance to do that.
“But Saturday’s game is set up – there are some wonderful talents on both sides, so it should be a wonderful game.” – He added.
Meanwhile Rodgers has also confirmed the return of Philippe Coutinho into the squad and the Brazilian can feature in the match against Arsenal. His return will be a huge boost for the side ahead of such a big game.
“He’s [Coutinho] been given the all clear by the specialist to come in.
“He’s been training for the last few weeks, so he’ll come back into the squad.” – Rodgers revealed.
Liverpool defender Daniel Agger was recently quoted in an interview saying that he would consider leaving the club if he doesn’t get regular first team football. The defender’s last start for the Merseyside club came in the defeat against Southampton and was once again an unused substitute in the match against West Brom. But Brendan Rodgers has assured Agger that he is part of his plans and that like every other player he will also have to fight for his place.
“I have reassured him. Daniel understands the situation. Every player wants to play. He’s a top player. He’s trained remarkably well and it’s obviously been difficult for him since he came out of the team with that injury against Southampton. The team has done very well since. It’s something that he understands. He’s come in and has got a smile on his face and he’s working exceptionally well. It’s the whole squad that we need to succeed. He’s fighting and waiting for that moment when he can get back in.
“If you look at some of the other squads around – the Chelsea team that started at Arsenal the other night would have a chance of winning the league as well – that’s what brings you success. You have to have players fighting, so that when you play you have to be at your best. We have a long way to go to get to that position.” – he said.