Early Doors

Brendan Rodgers is unacceptable

Early Doors

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And the name in the first envelope is... Brendan Rodgers.

For anyone who missed the Wernham Hogg-a-thon that was Being: Liverpool - this was a cringeworthy fly on the wall documentary starring Ricky Gervais as Brendan Rodgers, a middle manager convinced of his own messianic brilliance.

As well as spawning dozens of Brent-esque quotes ("It's not just about training players, it's about educating players. You train dogs."), it featured a gruesomely embarrassing set piece in which Rodgers recycled a trick used 15 years earlier by Alex Ferguson.

He announced that three players would let the team down this season, and he had already written their names in envelopes, which he brandished to a bemused audience.

His exhortion: "Make sure you are not the one in the envelope," rang somewhat hollow given his insistence, seconds earlier, that the names had already been written down and the envelopes sealed. To make sure they were not in the envelope, Liverpool's players would have needed time-travelling powers, But ED digresses.

Well, it's none other than Rodgers himself who has let the side down with his condemnation of Luis Suarez, after the striker admitted diving against Stoke.

Rodgers responded: "I've seen the comments ... and I think it's wrong.

"Certainly from our perspective it is unacceptable. It will be dealt with internally so there are no issues there.

"It's (diving) not something we advocate here."

He did not specify whether he was more upset about the diving or the admission, but it is pretty obviously the latter.

The dive against Stoke, to which Suarez 'fessed up, was the one where he fell to his knees then, in a second movement, threw himself in the air and landed in an outraged, gesticulating heap.

He quite literally, to borrow from the lexicon of fellow non-racist Ron Atkinson, went down in instalments.

There is no way anybody watching the game could interpret it as anything other than a dive borne out of frustration and desperation (this was also the game when Robert Huth trod on Suarez's chest and went unpunished, but that's another Country song) - and that's pretty much what Suarez said on Wednesday night.

Rodgers defended Suarez at the time, only to castigate his player for saying what everybody already knew.

In this, he is guilty of pure, rank hypocrisy. To allow Suarez to dive - to know he is diving (and ED can be fairly certain on this point because Rodgers definitely watches Liverpool games) - is fine as far as ED is concerned.

Most players dive to a greater or lesser extent, and it is only the British that have some weird psychological complex about it.

But to tacitly accept Suarez's antics, then - ahem! - dive for the moral high ground as soon as he admits it is atrocious management. He has sold out his best player; was happy to profit from his antics then ran for cover when Suarez made an unwisely candid remark on TV.

Some people consider Suarez too good for Liverpool. The man is a brilliant footballer, he turns 26 next week and he wants to play in the Champions League - he's not going to do it this season or next with Liverpool.

Clearly he loves the club, but no footballer's loyalty is unconditional, and if he feels the manager doesn't support him... well, he might just be on his way.

Now, others might praise Rodgers for standing up to his big-name players.

What's more, they might say that an unwillingness to upset the Uruguayan contributed to Kenny Dalglish's lamentable performance after Suarez was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra.

But to ED, the situations are very different.

It hardly needs saying, but just in case: racism is worse than diving.

Racist abuse is not a sporting crime - it's an actual crime. And Dalglish simply refused to acknowledge the findings of an exhaustive independent report into Suarez's confrontation with Evra.

Of course, you don't need an inquiry to know that Suarez dives. Rodgers has even admitted as much ("Luis has got a wee bit of a tag because of some of the times he has gone down.").

If Rodgers wanted to condemn it, he had plenty of opportunities to do so before yesterday. But he didn't, and neither would Early Doors have done.

Diving is no worse than pinching a few yards at a throw-in or constantly chipping away in the ref's ear.

It's commonplace, and Suarez only acts as a lightning rod because a) he's not very convincing at falling over, b) he does it a lot, and c) he's not the most sympathetic character.

The only thing Luis Suarez was guilty of on Wednesday night was telling a universally-known truth.

For Rodgers to respond with a high-handed chiding - again, not for the dive, but for the admission - was crass, hypocritical and potentially disastrous for Liverpool.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "The prices go always up at the start of the transfer window and go down in the last week. Sometimes as well they go up in the last week but it depends. Most of the time they go down. You know that 90 per cent of transfer activity happens in the last week if not in the last 48 hours." Thanks for clarifying that, Arsene Wenger.

FOREIGN VIEW: Kaka has revealed that he is desperate to end his "unhappy" time at Real Madrid and return to Milan in the January transfer window.

The Brazil international left the San Siro for the Santiago Bernabeu in 2009, but has not been able to break into Jose Mourinho’s side on a regular basis and is looking for a way out of the club.

After reportedly enjoying a mean with Brazil team-mate Robinho, the forward admitted that he is actively striving to leave the Spanish giants in January.

"My situation at Real Madrid is an unhappy one – for me and for others," the 30-year-old told Sky Sport 24.

When asked if he would accept a reduction in wages to return to the San Siro outfit, he responded: "I have already said I'm open to find a solution. In Milan, I had many beautiful moments and still have friends here. I [have] already said I'm open to find a solution with Real, and if it's good for me it's good for everyone."

COMING UP: You can follow another day of transfer inactivity with Eurobot here. And you can look forward to a busy day of pointless quotes, weekend team news and all manner of other guff as the snow traps ED in its office.

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