written by Dave Usher for ESPN
Brendan Rodgers spoke towards the end of last season of the need to add 'men' to the group. Whilst in future he may have to choose his expressions a little more carefully in the wake of that leaked 'naughty words' document that LFC sent out to employees, his point was clear. He wants leaders, winners, players who are mentally and physically strong and who not only possess in themselves that toughness and desire to succeed at the very top, but who also demand it from those around them. Players who want to win at all costs and for whom losing is seen as a personal insult. Steven Gerrard has it, Luis Suarez has it, Jamie Carragher had it in spades but is unfortunately no longer around. The rest of the squad? Not so much.
Rodgers recognises the importance of having a winning mentality around the place and appears to be making a conscious effort to recruit players who possess it. Kolo Toure is a perfect example, a man who sets himself high standards but also looks to influence and help those around him. He's most definitely a winner and has the medals to prove it. Iago Aspas may be largely unknown outside of Spain, but his will to win and never say die efforts almost single handedly preserved Celta Vigo's status in La Liga last season. That passion to win occasionally spilled over into unsavouriness, with a shocking head butt on Carlos Marchena earning him a lengthy suspension. Rodgers, significantly, wasn't put off by that.
Reported transfer target Kyriakos Papadopoulos also seems to fit the profile Brendan is looking for. The powerful Greek is not someone you'd want to get on the wrong side of (witness the hilarious exchange with Samaras on youtube) and had he been born a couple of thousand years earlier you can bet your bottom dollar he'd have been one of the 300 Spartans fighting alongside King Leonidas. And if he had been, for my money that particular battle would have had a much different outcome.
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