Brendan Rodgers has said that he was disappointed at the reception Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren received on their return to Southampton last weekend.
It was the first time that the former Southampton players had returned to St. Mary’s since their high-profile summer transfers to Anfield, but they were greeted by boos ringing out around the stadium for them.
Rodgers felt that his three ex-Saints stars deserved more appreciation from their former club and felt that Lallana, Lovren and Rickie Lambert were not acknowledged enough for the things that they achieved while at Southampton, by the club itself or the supporters.
Rodgers expected better
After earning a huge 2-0 win at St Mary's the Reds boss commented on his former Saints trio, telling The Guardian: “It was always going to be difficult for the likes of Dejan and Adam, I was a bit disappointed for Adam. He was captain here for two years and gave incredible service to Southampton.
“I know he could have left a number of times and didn’t, so to get the reception he did was disappointing. There was nothing in the match programme referencing his time here, either. I know Dejan was only here for a season, but there was no mention either for Lambert.
Lallana had to find return difficult
“Those two guys, Rickie and Adam, gave their heart and soul to Southampton and were big supporters of this club before moving on to one of the biggest clubs in the world at Liverpool.”
Lallana was at Southampton for his entire career until he switched to the Merseyside club and played for them in League One and the Championship before they gained promotion into the Premier League at a time when he was clearly too good for those two divisions. There is no doubt he could have moved on to bigger an better things at a time when Southampton were rebuilding, but he stuck it out.
Where is the love?
Rodgers added: “This is a fantastic club, a club who were in the Premier League but had to drop to League One to grow again, but those two guys were wonderful servants here. It was a massive decision for them to come to Liverpool, but what about everything they gave to this club?
“There’s usually a form of appreciation, but today there was nothing. For me that’s a wee bit sad. I was thinking of them today looking at the programme before the game, about everything they gave to this club to get them where they are today, and not a mention.”
Lambert treated slightly differently
Lambert did receive some sort of warm welcome as he warmed up but there were no pleasantries for Lallana and Lovren. The transfers of the latter two left a sour taste in the mouths of Saints fans as they felt that the pair had orchestrated a transfer to Liverpool, some rumours suggested Lallana would go on strike if he didn’t get the transfer.
Lallana moved for around £24million even though the Englishmen had previously said that he would end his career wight he Saints after he signed his last long-term contract with the club. Southampton fans felt he went against his word, thus they jeered him whenever he got the ball throughout the game.
Lallana probably expected a hostile reception despite taking out a full page in Southampton’s local paper to write an open letter to the fans when he left. Realistically Rodgers didn’t need to get involved because he should know better. Football fans can be very fickle at times and are quick to forget what players have done for their club once they leave.
He shouldn’t read much into something as trivial as the fact there was no mention of the players in the programme. After all, Southampton probably weren’t very happy that Liverpool raided their squad in the summer and took three of their top players.
Despite the result yesterday, it still looks like Southampton got the better end of the bargain in the summer as the players they brought in have performed much better than the three that went the other way.