Rodgers hailed character; his team had none – Hamann

Date published: Thursday 8th October 2015 10:14

Brendan Rodgers

Brendan Rodgers regularly praised the ‘character’ of his Liverpool team, but Dietmar Hamann says it was lacking under the Northern Irishman.

Rodgers was sacked as Liverpool manager on Sunday, with Jurgen Klopp expected to be announced as his successor on Thursday or Friday.

Former Reds midfielder Hamann believes the German will add some much-needed leadership to a club which has lacked it both on and off the field.

“Too often in recent years the team disappointed and we heard from the manager about the great character in the team,” Hamann told talkSPORT.

“I don’t want the manager to tell me the team showed great character when they didn’t.

“My biggest criticism of Brendan Rodgers’ team was he was telling us how much character the team had got, but if it was lacking one thing it was character.

“Every time the chips were down they failed. They got battered by Aston Villa at Wembley in an FA Cup semi-final, they lost in the semi-final of the League Cup to Chelsea, they got knocked out of a Champions League group that included Ludogorets and Basle, they lost a league title they should have won – with three games to go it was almost impossible they could lose it.

“But it’s worth nothing if you fall at the last hurdle and don’t take that next step.

“If you knock on the door several times it will open. What Brendan’s team did over the last few years is they knocked on the door and ran off.

“That team was lacking character and I don’t think you’ll see that with Klopp because he believes in hard work and the players will have to go back to their roots because you’ve got to work hard and then you can start playing football.

“He (Klopp) will tell the people what’s he’s seen and what he thinks about the team. He will give an honest assessment and it will be what the fans want to hear.

“Too often with Brendan he tried to tell people things that weren’t true and this is why people got fed up in the end because it was the same all over again.”

Former Liverpool striker Emile Heskey, meanwhile, believes the club must be realistic with their targets under the new manager.

“Once you finish second (as Liverpool did in 2014), there’s an aspect of ‘we need to push on from there’, but that was a real achievement, I think everyone will accept that,” Heskey said, speaking at the Leaders Sport Business Summit.

“I think the step is to get into the top four. Even though they were second, when you’re talking about a squad I don’t think they were quite ‘there’.

“For now you’re looking at someone rebuilding with a squad that is probably top six – I don’t think they’re quite top four – and then building on top of that.”

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