Suarez reveals Liverpool squad’s reaction to Rodgers’s envelopes

Liverpool striker wasn't sure if Brendan Rodgers's motivational tactic worked

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles

Luis Suarez has lifted the lid on the Liverpool squad’s reaction to Brendan Rodgers’s now-famous three-envelope motivational talk ahead of the 2012/13 season.

During Fox Soccer’s fly-on-the-wall documentary “Being Liverpool”, which filmed the Reds during the initial months of the Northern Irishman’s reign, Rodgers held three envelopes aloft at a team meeting.

I’m sure there were no names, it was just a way of motivating us; a tactic to make sure we gave everything. And in truth it got forgotten pretty quickly

Luis Suarez

The 41-year-old, who led the club to a second-place finish last term, claimed the envelopes contained the names of three players who were going to let down the Reds during his first season in charge at Anfield.

And Suarez, who moved to Barcelona in a £75m move from the Reds this summer, revealed the reaction of the Liverpool players to Rodgers’s motivational tactic in his new book, “Crossing The Line – My Story”.

“For those who didn’t see the documentary, Brendan had got the entire squad together during pre-season soon after he had taken over and showed us three envelopes,” Suarez wrote in his book which is being serialised by The Guardian.

“He told us that inside each envelope was a piece of paper on which he had written the name of someone who would let the team down during the coming season. It was our duty, he said, to make sure that it wasn’t our name in there.

“At the end of the year, he would open the envelopes and reveal the names inside. I hadn’t seen a manager do that before and of course afterwards lots of the players were talking about it.”

Suarez, who scored 31 Premier League goals last season, unveiled a funny conversation between Glen Johnson and Jose Enrique after the team meeting.

“There was a group of us sitting there, and Glen Johnson came over and said: “I know who’s in the envelopes. I know what’s written on all three pieces of paper.” Who? What?

“’Number 3’ . . . ‘Jose’ . . . and “Enrique”. We fell about. Jose Enrique protested: ‘No, no, no, no, ingles – I’m not there, you are!’”

“We never did find out what was written in those envelopes. It was unusual and I must admit that for a moment I did think: ‘How can you think before the season has even started that there are three people who are going to let you down? And if there is a name in there and he plays well, and you doubted him, what are you going to do then?’

“I’m sure there were no names, it was just a way of motivating us; a tactic to make sure we gave everything. And in truth it got forgotten pretty quickly.”

Last year, Rodgers revealed that there were no names in the three envelopes when asked about his man management stunt.

“There were no names,” Rodgers told ESPN. “There were no names.”

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