Daniel Agger is an oddity in English football: From his angry reaction to being marginalised by Roy Hodgson because he refused to stop trying to play football from the back, to his disgust at Fernando Torres going to play for a rival to the club's ambitions, to his at times brutally honest assessment of how Liverpool has played, there are few so willing to fully speak their mind. And as a result of that willingness to honestly discuss quite nearly anything—not to mention that as often as not he ends up sounding more a supporter in his opinions and assessments than he does a professional doing a job—it would take a strange kind of fan not to develop some rather strong affections for the Danish defender.
Given his track record, then, and how bothered most were in the wake of Saturday's exceptionally frustrating display against Swansea City, it doesn't come as a huge surprise that Agger has spoken his mind regarding events on the pitch on the weekend—and about where the club is more generally, too. Needless to say, it's unusually honest, and more than a touch brutal because of it:
Everyone was angry and disappointed, some more than others, but that is the way it is. Sometimes we looked like headless chickens running around after the ball. It was far from good enough and I don’t know how we can drop that far from last week.
We were really, really bad. When we got the ball we lost it straight away. We were not sharp enough. We did not press well enough. There were so many things that were really disappointing, especially after we played okay last week.
It’s puzzling. But that’s football. You can’t explain it. Our home record speaks for itself. It is far from good enough. You have to give Swansea credit because they played well but that doesn’t make our performance better.
Some will argue, as is always the case when a player comes out and actually says what everybody else is thinking, that airing such comments in public is more than a touch crass. That it's something just not done. Perhaps even that a public display of annoyance from Agger is nothing but the first steps towards the player's departure.
And perhaps his comments are a touch ungentlemanly. But they're also entirely true, and anybody taking it as a sign of Agger marking his way towards the exit hasn't been paying attention to the club or player for very long. The team looked horrible on the weekend, and for most it will be encouraging to know that that is an opinion shared amongst at least some of the playing staff, and that for a few of the club's players Liverpool winning and losing actually carries a great deal of emotional importance; that it's not just a chance at an inflated paycheque.
As for his comments that some players seemed more disappointed and angry than others, how one takes it is entirely down to the reader: Either he's simply lamenting the reality that some professionals are less emotionally invested in their side winning than others and though they might be less bothered by a poor result it doesn't speak to their contributions during any given match, or it's a more damning condemnation that suggests some of the players who started on Saturday may not quite have shown the required determination. Beyond that bit of interpretive uncertainty, though, it's hard to fault his sentiment—or to argue with him when he gives his verdict on the club's chances at securing a top four finish:
If we play like this, we won’t do it. We have got to move up a level or two. I won’t say it is not possible, because it is, but it is up to the players. We are the only ones who can make a difference. We definitely have to do a lot better.
We have to win these types of games, no matter which kind of team we put out. We are Liverpool Football Club. We have to win our home games.