Liverpool Youth Players 'Stunned' After Club Sacks Academy Coach, Director
Youth players at Liverpool were "stunned to be told" that Academy head coach Rodolfo Borrell has been sacked, along with director Frank McParland, in what appears to be "a strengthening of Brendan Rodgers’ position at the club," according to Ian Herbert of the London INDEPENDENT. Borrell is "held in huge esteem by the Academy players, many of whom consider him to be a supremely good coach." McParland was also "respected within the Kirkby training base as the individual who would enforce discipline when required." However, the two men’s departures after four years at the club "seems to have stemmed from their doubts about some aspects of the academy’s future direction, as it develops under Rodgers." Rodgers has "influenced appointments" to the Academy in the past six months, with Neil Critchley arriving from Crewe Alexandra to run the U18s after Steve Cooper’s contract "was not renewed at the end of last season" (INDEPENDENT, 11/21). In London, Chris Bascombe reported Liverpool said that they "will make no comment, but it has come as a surprise after the Merseyside club appeared to have ended a prolonged, tumultuous period at youth level." Rodgers, however, has been "keen to add his own staff" over the course of his 18-month reign and it is possible a division re-surfaced as new coaches tried to assert their own authority on issues of coaching and recruitment (TELEGRAPH, 11/21).