Brendan Rodgers is a class act. He might well be the classiest man in all of football. His comments on Dedryck Boyata yesterday were right on the money.
He could have let rip. He could have aired more dirty laundry in public. He could have blasted the player and no-one in the media would have criticised him for it and not one supporter would have complained. Boyata has earned a little public slap down.
Yet Brendan is too much of a gentleman to deliver it.
At least, not in the fashion many people had expected.
Instead Brendan got right to the heart of the matter in the best possible way that he could; he pointed out that Boyata has betrayed the trust of the players in his team. That is telling. It suggests that there’s a lot of animosity towards Boyata in the dressing room because of this week’s antics. If he really is hiding behind an injury, that will not have gone down well with players who know what’s at stake tonight and are willing to fight for it.
“I feel for his team mates, really,” Brendan said, ““This is a game where we need our centre-half and if you’re fit we would have hoped he’d have been with us.”
The manager also hinted that the club feels that the player owed them more loyalty than to allow his agent to publicly slag us off, and especially at such a crucial time.
“This is a guy who has been with us on our journey for the last couple of years. One that we supported as a team and a management in what was a difficult period for Dedryck when we first came in. For him to him then grow like he did, we’re now at a period of the season when we really, really need our best players who are fit and available.”
There was no public broadside, then, no slagging the player off in front of the hacks … just a reminder that the club has been good to him and that his fellow players – professionals to a man – have been badly, badly let down here.
The weight falls especially hard on young Jack Hendry, who has been thrown in at the deep end because of Boyata’s selfish actions.
And all Boyata’s “I’m right behind the team” nonsense on social media does not change that.