The Reds manager was heavily criticised after making seven changes for their 1-0 loss to Real Madrid on Tuesday night, dropping key players such as Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling.
Chelsea will be too good for them this weekend as well
And Arsenal legend Merson felt Rodgers showed a lack of respect to his captain as well as the Liverpool supporters who made the long and expensive trip to the Spanish capital.
“Liverpool need a result but they won’t get one. You can’t turn it on and off like a tap and I think there is severe pressure on Brendan Rodgers, not just because of the results but also his comments,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“He said Liverpool-Real Madrid was not a showcase game. Not a showcase game? How would you feel if you were a Liverpool fan and heard that? Steven Gerrard retired from England to play in games like that, so I couldn’t believe what Rodgers said.
“I think Rodgers’ team selection backfired in that game. He’s gone there and thought: ‘I’ve played my best team against Real and got rinsed so if I play my best team again and we get beat five I’m in trouble’.”
Merson continued: “He would have thought that if he goes out with a weakened team and loses then he can say he was focused on Saturday but because they only lost 1-0, people are saying they could have beat Real with their proper team.
“Rodgers could have just come out and said: ‘If we take care of Basel and Ludogorets we’ll be alright to get through the group but I need to make sure we get in the top four in the Premier League’. But he didn’t talk like that.
“Liverpool fans don’t have the right to pick the team but they pay their money to travel and have the right to see a team that can win.
“They saw a 1-0 doing. I think Chelsea will be too good for them this weekend as well.”
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