Jason McAteer lauded the work of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager when speaking at the Ladbrokes #ForTheFans Transfer Deadline Day party.
Ladbrokes invited Ian Wright, Chris Kamara, Peter Reid, Jason McAteer and 50 fans to a North London pub to take part in the Ladbrokes #ForTheFans Transfer Deadline Day party. Fans were treated to free bets, the latest reaction to transfer moves and news by our panel of legends, a singing Kammy and a free bar to keep the night flowing.
The ex-Liverpool midfielder, naturally synonymous with the club through his broad scouse accent and over a century of appearances for the Reds, is excited for the future at Anfield.
“They’ve put themselves in a great position to finish fourth, something we probably weren’t talking about twelve weeks ago,” McAteer said.
“It was a disappointing start, losing Suarez and Sturridge, when you lose 51 goals it’s going to be very difficult to replace them. Then he (Brendan Rodgers) started searching for a different formation, playing personnel in different roles, there was a lot of players brought in during the summer.”
Rodgers faced stern critics this autumn but has ridden the storm out, though McAteer suggests these voices of discontent did not emanate from supporters.
“You could say that (he has been a victim of his own success), but Liverpool fans are clever fans. They know when you start the season again last season’s gone you’re now looking back your looking towards the future,” he added.
“Suarez has gone, he (Rodgers) brought a lot of players in, it was always going to take time for them players to bed in, not only that but to learn the system.”
McAteer suggests that, faced with these difficult changes, Rodgers has shown his managerial qualities in re-building Liverpool after a challenging autumn.
“I think he has done a fantastic job. Brendan had to find the answers, Brendan had to find the system, that’s why I am a fan of Brendan,” continue McAteer.
“He has worked hard in finding a way of playing, finding a way of getting those players in team, enjoying themselves and playing good football.”
As a wholehearted Liverpool fan, McAteer talks with the palpable enthusiasm about how Rodgers has improved the Reds across this season.
“Liverpool are back where they belong in playing the kind of football we expect to see they are creating chances, they are not conceding goals. Twelve weeks ago they were never contenders for fourth place now you’re looking at them as the real deal, they’re going to hopefully nick into the fourth position.”
McAteer also explained his belief that Tottenham signing Delle Ali was the most important signing of the recently shut January transfer window.
“I think it’s a great signing, probably one of the hottest prospects around – he could probably go straight into the Tottenham team and enhance them, make them better,” McAteer added.
“I think you look at the £5million now but that could be a lot more come five years’ time. The scouting system at all clubs is there to find that kind of talent and I think it’s a good bit of business by Tottenham when everyone else is looking at big players and big money.”
One club doing that was Manchester City, though McAteer feels £28m signing Wilfred Bony will, unlike previous signings, not gain sufficient first-team opportunities.
“I think he’s more experienced than these players, obviously he has played plenty of international football, and I think he’s more of a finished article than them. He’s is proven and he has scored all types of goals for Swansea, his movement was very good, he is physically built for the Premier League and Manchester City need strengthening in that department – I think he is the ideal player for them.”
Jason McAteer was speaking to Football FanCast at the Ladbrokes #ForTheFans Transfer Deadline Day party.
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