Former Liverpool goalkeeper Brad Jones has shed light on an infamous bust-up between Brendan Rodgers and Raheem Sterling back in 2012.
Despite current Leicester City manager Rodgers playing a key role in Sterling's first-team success at Liverpool, the pair didn't always see eye to eye during their time together at Anfield. Rodgers and Sterling spent three seasons together with the Reds before the latter sealed a £49million move to Manchester City under a cloud of controversy surrounding a new contract.
Rodgers was less-than impressed by the manner of Sterling's 2015 departure, however it wasn't the first time the pair had experienced a difference of opinion. Shortly after Rodgers was appointed Liverpool manager back in 2012, he was embroiled in a now infamous bust-up with Sterling during the club's pre-season tour of America – and it was all caught on camera.
With a number of the Reds senior stars competing at Euro 2012, Sterling was one of several youngsters included in Rodgers' squad for their pre-season tour of the US, which was captured by FOX for their documentary Being:Liverpool. And the North Irishman appeared intent on exerting his authority as he sought to make an example out of a 17-year-old Sterling during a tense training session.
Rodgers appeared to target Sterling during a team-talk at a Harvard University training ground, exclaiming, "use your brain" and "stay on your feet". The former Reds boss then threatened to send the teenager back to England after taking umbrage at his response.
Footage showed Rodgers saying: “This is for the young players and I need you to pay attention. Your attitude needs to improve in your work, OK? You (Sterling) say ‘steady’ to me again when I say something to you and you’ll be on the first plane back.”
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In turn, Sterling responded by stating: “I didn’t say steady, I said…” However, Rodgers interrupted, adding: “You know what you said, I know what you said.”
Opening up on the incident, former Liverpool shot-stopper Jones admitted he offered Sterling some words of wisdom following the episode, which he believes was Rodgers' way of "testing" the Reds starlet. The Australian goalkeeper told Liverpool ECHO: “What you saw on the show was what you got. There were little bits off camera. I remember the thing with Raheem.
“It’s funny, I was just behind him and I think Brendan was testing him. He’d done it to a few people. Give them a little prod just to see how people react. Raheem was a kid at the time and a lot was on his shoulders for what people expected.
“I just remember that moment happening and I grabbed Raheem literally just after he said it and I said to him, 'He’s testing you. Don’t bite back. Just show him, you don’t have to do anything else.' He was such a good kid."
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