After years of being thought an injury risk, a man who every time he went to ground left fans wondering if he would get back up, Daniel Agger has this season established himself as the workhorse of Liverpool's defence. Ahead of him, Steven Gerrard—another who has lately gained a reputation for picking up knocks—has played every minute in the Premier League.
Agger, meanwhile, has started every game except for one—and the one he missed was thanks to a red card picked up against West Bromwich Albion that kept him out of the following week's match against Manchester City—in a stretch of robust health he credits to new manager Brendan Rodgers.
"For me it's about being fit and I'm the fittest I've been in years," Agger told sporten.dk as the Denmark captain prepared for Friday's World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic. "I have not missed a game because of an injury and I think that is a first in my career.
"Brendan Rodgers is undoubtedly the reason I have played every matches this year without injuries and I can't be anything but pleased. I have to give the new coaching staff great credit for it, but the new manager gets the greatest credit of all for the changes.
"He is the one who sought to adjust the training regimen specifically for each player. The new coaching staff then structured our exercises to take into account the individual—which is something I have needed, with my training volume scaled down and an increased recovery period."
The centre half's 29 starts to date already are the most he's ever played for Liverpool in the league, with previous high-water marks the 2006-07 season when he made 23 starts and four substitute appearances and 2011-12 when he made 24 starts and came off the bench three times.
And while not everyone may be entirely sold on exactly what direction Liverpool is heading in or how long it might take the club to get back to the point where they can regularly challenge for domestic and European honours, the always honest Dane believes success will come soon—if they can find greater consistency.
"It's a club that must win trophies, I think that goes without saying," he added. "I believe that day will come, of course. It will not be this year, because we are changing the style of play and have not got the results we would have wanted despite playing well.
"There have been a few concerns when it comes to consistency—and we must also have a bigger squad. These are the things we need to work towards next season. If we can be more consistent next season we will have a much better year."
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