Jonny Forumer: Liverpool fans debate Rodgers’s Channel 5 impression

Jonny Forumer

Who cares what a bunch of disinterested hacks have to say when you can get the skinny direct from those to whom it matters most? Well, good news – Football Burp’s very own Jonny Forumer, lurker extraordinaire, is here to collate choice message board analysis so you can get the lowdown from the people who really know what they’re on about. Take it away, Jonny…

Morning folks, Jonny Forumer reporting for duty. Fox mocumentary Being: Liverpool starring Brendan Rodgers has been a bit hit for Channel 5 of late, so I hotfooted it over to online joint Red and White Kop to see what the Anfield faithful were saying about the former Swansea City manager’s unexpected move into comedy…

Brendan Rodgers
Rodgers… Not over and out (Img: Bernard Chan)


I have to say how cringe worthy Rodgers comes across as. I agree with the David Brent comparisons.
There is so much management talk from Rodgers when he speaks, basically words which mean nothing. Treating the players as if they’re 15 or 16?
Very clichéd words of encouragement. “Believe in yourselves, and this season will be a success.”
“You have the talent, we all know that”
“Make sure you give the extra 1%”?
Stuff that doesn’t need to be said! These are professional footballers who are paid ridiculous wages. Why are they being treated like u-16 kids who need to have their egos massaged and be reminded what it already means to play for LFC?
If a player needs to be told to give that extra 1%, (not even sure what that means or how its possible?!), then we’ve got to look at ourselves.
It was all so juvenile. Like watching a poorly written Rocky movie.

It’s what people hear at corporate speeches and meetings..Management talk.

I’m hoping all that’s for the cameras and not actually how he is!


Only it does need to be said, because professional athletes are some of the most self-doubting, insecure people on the planet. What might be twee to you might be absolutely necessary for the athlete to hear in order for them to get into the right frame of mind for the game. You might THINK that players are ready to go and bursting for the action moments before a game, but if they go out on the field in the wrong order, or if they can’t find the tape to put on their socks at the right time, or if the coach fails to say a certain thing that’s part of the routine, their confidence can crumble at the first mistake on the field. Sad and illogical, but very, very true.


It’s also really low to say that because Rodgers uses a motivation style of speech he is like David Brent. Churchill relied on motivational speech. Obama is the king of the soundbite. Are we now saying that anyone who uses easily quotable dialogue and/or motivational speech is like David Brent?

For me, Rodgers comes across as a real human being. No airs or graces. He’s passionate and believes in himself. He’s been he less time than Hodgson yet he already looks every inch a Liverpool manager and this TV show has only heightened that feeling for me.


All that’s very well and good, and while I agree footballers aren’t the brightest bunch, it annoyed me that even while BR was speaking TO the camera alone when no one else was around, he was using the same ol wishy washy quotes.

Sound bites like “I’m an honest man,” “Going to be a long and hard journey for us” got me cringing.

I hope it’s one of those things where he’s been asked to dumb his speech down for the American audience quite significantly!

“Trust yourselves, trust your supporters, cause they’re the best, and trust your family at home” I’m sorry..What?lol


He is also speaking to a room of people who primarily speak….English, Italian, Spanish, Portugese, etc. I would imagine most managers have to keep these group talks somewhat straightfoward…I can only imagine a long drawn out speech resulting in a quarter of team replying with “Que?”


I have to say I also cringed at some of his comments. The teamtalks were toe curling stuff (“today is the start of the journey”). But then, as has been said above, footballers are not the brightest bunch and maybe he’s talking in a language they will understand. Most of us would have hated it and it was certainly Brent-esque but if it works then I don’t care. I remember reading in one of the player’s autobigraphies that Houllier would sometimes recite poetry in the dressing room as part of his team talk. Can you just imagine the bovine looks if Rogers had come out with that?

The other thing that annoyed me was how tactile he was with the players. A wee bit creepy for my liking. Still, I don’t have to like him. As long as it works and the team plays well. For the record I like the way he sets up the team and the way he plays round pegs in round holes and all that.


This has been bugging me since I’ve watched it; he really enjoys getting his hands all over their faces and treating them like 5 year olds; very strange (I’m assuming it has come from his youth development years?)
The funniest thing had to be after we saw Rodgers nice and touchy with Assaidi, he (Assaidi) explained why he chose LFC and said that it was because Rodgers made him ‘gave him and good feeling’ and then gave a very creepy smirk saying during the sentence.


Unlike some who seem to think supporters need to be 100% with the manager until a point when it becomes fashionable to be 100% against him I like a more honest, realistic and consistent approach. I have watched two of the episodes and agree that to my old cynical eyes Rodgers doesn’t come out of them particularly well, certainly not when giving his “what I believe in” type speeches, but that’s just me. That doesn’t mean I don’t think he can be a success or want him to build a 20 year legacy, just that I find him a bit embarrasing.


Diction: it is sometimes difficult to understand exactly what Brendan says, but when he is giving instructions to the players and he says “ok” the boys just nod, I am waiting for one to say err sorry can you say that again.

How do you think Brendan Rodgers has come across on Being: Liverpool, Reds fans? Do you care? Have your say in the comments section below…