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Rodgers slates Fergie for Gerrard criticism

STEVEN-GERRARDLONDON, England, October 25 – Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has dismissed Alex Ferguson’s assessment that Steven Gerrard was “not a top, top player” as not credible.

England captain Gerrard has been a mainstay of the Liverpool side for more than a decade and is widely esteemed as one of the best midfielders of his time.

Yet for all the 33-year-old Gerrard helped hometown club Liverpool win the Champions League in 2005, Ferguson, formerly manager of the Merseysiders’ arch-rivals Manchester United, said in his recently published autobiography that the Anfield hero was not a great player.

“He (Ferguson) is probably one of the few — if not the only one – who does not believe he is a top, top player,” Rodgers said Thursday.

“I don’t think it was credible really in terms of what was said. You only have to look at Steven’s career since he has been here, the accolades he has received all his life not only from managers but former players.”

But it was the comments Ferguson, who retired as United manager at the end of last season after 26-and-a-half years in charge, made about Jordan Henderson’s running style having the potential to cause the Liverpool midfielder injury later in his career that really angered Rodgers.

“The one thing I would add is I was bitterly disappointed on Jordan Henderson,” Rodgers said.

“Sir Alex is someone who worked with and nurtured young players and so the statement in terms of Jordan was inappropriate really,” the Northern Irishman added.

“Having worked with him for over a season, you won’t get a more honest player.

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“He is a young player fighting for his career in the game. He is only 23 and looking to improve.

“In the time he has been here he has improved and improved, and I think when Kenny (Dalglish) signed him I thought it was a great signing,” he added.

“He was outstanding at Sunderland but going to a big club was going to take him time.

“There was reference to his running style and his gait but every player is different.

“Everyone is medically assessed, you all have strengths and weaknesses, and over the course of their career the elements of their physical and technical qualities will be improved.

“I am sure somewhere along the line, if Sir Alex bumps into Jordan, he will apologise for that because I don’t think it was right and especially (from) someone who knows every word to a young player is important.”

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