Former Liverpool ‘keeper Brad Jones has explained how Brendan Rodgers’ infamous ‘envelope trick’ hilariously backfired with the squad.
The now Leicester City boss spent three years at Anfield where he came close to lifting a first Premier League title for the Reds, before his side stumbled at Selhurst Park in a match now colloquially known as ‘Crystanbul’ — with Liverpool squandering a 3-0 lead against Crystal Palace in their penultimate match of 2013/14.
In 2015, the Northern Irishman was ultimately relieved of his duties and succeeded by Jurgen Klopp, leaving behind a legacy as a nearly-man for that runners-up position in 2013/14, and generating a rather unflattering reputation as a David Brent-type for his bizarre motivational techniques.
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One particular incident, which was showcased in the Channel 5 documentary ‘Being: Liverpool’, saw Rodgers hold up three envelopes in front of his squad as he proceeded to tell them that each one contained the name of a player who would let him down during the season.
In the documentary Rodgers explained in his pre-match speech: “Don’t be in the envelope, make sure you’re not the one.” Liverpool would ultimately go on to lose 3-0 to West Bromwich Albion the following day.
Speaking about the incident now, Jones explained to Liverpool Echo how Rodgers’ stunt failed spectacularly as the players recognised something amiss immediately when the envelopes were held aloft.
Jones said: “The thing with the envelopes was a funny one. I think it was Glen Johnson who said he’d actually seen it before, I think it was (former Chelsea manager Jose) Mourinho who had done it.
“When he did it, as we were sitting and he was talking, he put the envelopes up and you could actually see straight through them, just the way that the light caught them.
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“I just remember sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t think there’s anything in those envelopes!’
“But for me Brendan was and is a very good coach. You can see what he’s doing with Leicester. Coaches always try things here and there to grab people’s attention or give them a little push. When they’re being filmed, it doesn’t always go so smoothly.”