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Roberto Firmino makes blunt Brendan Rodgers claim after ‘sending message’ to ex-Liverpool boss

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Roberto Firmino has opened up on his poor relationship with former Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who he sent a message to after scoring a brace against his Leicester side.

Liverpool hero Roberto Firmino has opened up about his tricky relationship with former manager Brendan Rodgers. In his book, ‘Si Senor: My Liverpool Years’, he hints that Rodgers didn’t know how to use him properly in the team.

Firmino is well-loved by Liverpool fans. With over 350 games for the Reds, the striker bagged a stunning 111 goals and provided 72 assists. But before his move to the Saudi Pro League last summer, things weren’t always easy for him at Anfield.

Firmino joined from TSG Hoffeinheim for a cool $37m (£29m/€34m) back in 2015 when Rodgers was still at the helm. This was the same time Christian Benteke, Danny Ings and Taiwo Awoniyi made their way to the club.

The Brazilian found it tough to find his spot in the starting line-up during Rodgers’ stint. In his book, he opened up about his rocky start, saying that he often wondered how it would all work out. “On the pitch, I had a terrible start that left me wondering how this was going to work out,” he wrote.

“I rarely played as a striker and when I did it was as a winger, with Christian Benteke playing through the middle. I remember games against Manchester United and Arsenal where I played on the right side of midfield, with the responsibility to defend more than play; I spent so much of my time dropping so deep and so wide I was practically a full-back.

“I was a long way from the parts of the pitch where I could truly make an impact. It was clear that the coach, Brendan Rodgers, didn’t know how to use me. I don’t think he understood my style of play, I definitely never understood his plans for me. Maybe that was because he didn’t really have any.”

After leaving Liverpool, Rodgers came back to the Premier League with Leicester City, after a spell in Scotland with Celtic. He met Firmino again when the two teams played on Boxing Day in 2019 at the King Power Stadium. The Reds won 4-0 over the Foxes, thanks in part to a great performance from Firmino, who scored two goals.

“I never went towards the opposition’s fans, never taunted rivals, never provoked anyone and always shared the celebrations with team-mates,” he said. “But that day at the King Power Stadium, I admit, I was delivering a message to the coach on the other bench, a reminder to Brendan Rodgers that he hadn’t believed in me like the boss [Jürgen Klopp] did.”

Liverpool.com says: It’s no surprise really that Firmino doesn’t feel particularly affectionate toward Rodgers, despite him being the manager to bring him to Liverpool. It didn’t really click for the Brazilian until Klopp arrived and made him his number nine.

To be somewhat fair to Rodgers though, Firmino has never been an out-and-out striker, and even Klopp was known to drop him deeper from time to time. Still, a manager should be able to bring out the best from a player with the ability of someone like Firmino.

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