If you were around in the beginning of the FSG era, then their cringy reality television show Being: Liverpool will forever live in your memory. In particular, the infamous envelope scene occurred, when Brendan Rodgers berated the teenage Raheem Sterling on camera in a stroke of managerial genius.
Brad Jones was Liverpool’s back-up goalkeeper at the time, and the Australian reminisced to the ECHO about being there in that moment.
“It’s funny, I was just behind him and I think Brendan was testing him,” Jones admitted. “He’d done it to a few people. Give them a little prod just to see how people react. Raheem was a kid at the time and a lot was on his shoulders for what people expected.
“I just remember that moment happening and I grabbed Raheem literally just after he said it and I said to him, ‘He’s testing you. Don’t bite back. Just show him, you don’t have to do anything else.’ He was such a good kid.”
Jones didn’t seem particularly impressed by the stunt, and said that wing-back Glen Johnson revealed he’d seen this trick done before.
“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 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. I just remember sitting there thinking, ‘I don’t think there’s anything in those envelopes!’”
What followed that documentary series were several seasons of epic highs and disappointing lows for the club. Rodgers is now gone. Sterling is gone. Jones is gone. Johnson is gone. The makeup of the team, the whole ethos has shifted in a tangible way with the arrival of Jürgen Klopp back in 2015.
However, looking back on Rodgers’ run with the club, it was a time of rebuilding and finding their identity under new ownership and new management, and with an influx of new players. Despite some missteps, most of the memories of that time are fond ones, while being thankful that things are much better now.