Brendan Rodgers: Britain can be as successful as Europe in producing technically proficient players

The Liverpool boss is adamant that the tactics players are asked to play in their formative years is the main reason behind their perceived inferiority to their continental rivals
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Britain can and does produce players who are equally adept technically as their continental counterparts.

The 39-year-old described Santi Cazorla and Joe Allen as the 'best players on the field, the two little technicians' after Liverpool's 2-0 loss to Arsenal last weekend.

Those characteristics are most often used to describe players from Brazil, Spain or Germany, but Rodgers insists British players can be just as adept on the ball if they are told to play a possession-orientated style of play from an early age.
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"I've worked with kids from five years of age right the way through to some of the biggest talents in European football and international captains, and I've worked with British and European players," Rodgers told ESPN.

"For me, the European player is no more gifted technically than the British player.

"But where there is a difference is in how they, in their youth and formative years, have been asked to play the game.

"If you're a European player and when you've got the ball your first option is to pass the ball to feet, then of course you're going to look better technically than the British player, when he is asked to get the ball and smash it up the pitch. He doesn't look so technical.

"That's a tactical concept of the game. We have enough top players in this country that are technically very strong. I think the idea of possession is important, that players can understand patience and how to be with the ball. But I don't think it's from a lack of technical quality."

Rodgers brought Joe Allen to Anfield from Swansea after making the same move as manager, and insisted that despite being one of the smallest players in the Premier League, his height and build come second to his ability on the ball.

"For me, it doesn't matter how big or small they are," he said. "With the ball, I like my players to have a good level of technical ability, but I also like them to have the desire and the will when they haven't got the ball.

"If you are going to play a technical game, you need technical players, it's as simple as that."