1 Oct 2015

Anfield Mega-Fail: How Rodgers' mismanagement of the 'new Deco' has cost Liverpool £59m+

Over the last three years, Brendan Rodgers has repeatedly claimed that he selects players based on the merit system, and he's never shy about drawing attention to his record of giving young players a chance at Anfield. To a certain extent, both of these things are true...except when it comes to Joao Carlos Teixiera.

Rodgers continues to inexplicably ignore Teixeira, and in my view, his treatment of the Portuguese attacker is grossly unfair. Consider the following:

* During his 3-year reign, Rodgers has deigned to grant Teixeira an insulting 8 minutes of game time. In the same time period, lots of British youngsters have been given regular chances (Ibe, Sterling, Flanagan, Wisdom, Williams etc).

* Pre-season 2015: Teixiera grabbed 4 goals/assists in 155 minutes of football (Goal/assist every 38 mins), more than any other player on the tour. Despite this, Rodgers has continued to ignore Teixeira has been totally ignored, and hasn't even deemed him worthy enough for a place on the bench.

* To make things worse, Rodgers left Teixeira out of Liverpool's Europa League squad, yet he included zero-experience teenagers like Cleary, Rossiter, Brannagan, and Chirivella, three of whom took part in the recent Bordeaux game.

* Unlike Rossiter et al, Teixeira has experience of proper competitive football with Brighton, for whom he contributed 9 goals/assists in 35 appearances.

* To add insult to injury, Brighton named Teixeira their 'Young Player of the Year', and he also received Liverpool's Academy 'Player of the Year' award for 2014-15.

My question is this: in what universe is it fair to ignore LFC's best Academy attacker (as proven by the award). With two 'player of the year' awards, Teixeira obviously excelled last season, yet Rodgers still ignores him. What else does he have to do to be given a fair chance?

If Rossiter, or Ibe went out on loan and won 'Young Player of the Year', you'd never hear the end of it from Rodgers, but Teixeira gets no reward for doing a great job in a difficult, physical league (or for fighting back from a broken leg in just three months).

Rodgers' treatment Teixeira (and Suso, for that matter) is hardly surprising, though, as only British academy youngsters get regular chances at Anfield.

Indeed, in the entire history of Liverpool FC, no foreign, attacking player has ever made it through the youth system to become a first-team regular, and Rodgers is perpetuating this negative trend.

Another thing that's hard to understand: why didn't Rodgers promote Teixeira instead of needlessly spending £20m on Lazar Markovic? It's not like the Portuguese - nicknamed the 'new Deco - could've done any worse, is it?

Additionally, Liverpool could've spent the £29m Firmino cash on a couple of top-class wide players (Yarmolenko and Konoplyanka, for example), and simply promoted Teixeira to the first-team squad. Both players are central attacking-midfields, and it's not as if the Brazilian has set the world alight at Anfield.

Rodgers' apologists will inevitably wheel out the same tired, unfounded excuses, including the following:

* 'He must have an attitude problem behind the scenes': There's zero evidence of this, and LFC's Academy staff only ever have good things to say about Teixeira. Sturridge also suffered from similar spurious, unfounded rumours.

* 'He's not eligible for the Europa League squad'. If Rodgers wanted Teixeira in the squad, he'd be there. Teixeira could've take Toure's place, for example. Can and Gomez can deputise in central defence. Joe Allen got in the squad, and he was injured at the time, which says it all, really.

Also, it's not just about one season; Teixeira has been ignored for three years. There's simply no credible excuse for Rodgers' treatment of the player. In my view, it's an absolute disgrace, and it's another reason I'm in favour of managerial change.

In an interview this week, Teixiera made yet another public plea for Rodgers to give him a chance, and he clearly outlined all the positive things he's achieved over the last two years.

It won't make a blind bit of difference to Rodgers, though. He's obviously made his mind up, and he'd rather waste Teixeira's talent than give him the chances he deserves in the first team.

Sadly, it's over for Teixeira at Anfield; he just doesn't know it yet.

Author: Jaimie K


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