Skip to main content

Brendan Rodgers tells critics to get off James Maddison’s back

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has urged the critics to lay off James Maddison.

The midfielder was pictured partying in Dubai during the winter break ahead of the Foxes’ return to action at Wolves on Friday.

Maddison had been previously criticised for going to a casino the night England lost a Euro 2020 qualifier to the Czech Republic last October after leaving the Three Lions squad due to illness.

But Rodgers insisted the outside perception of the 23-year-old and the reality are totally different.

He said: “People want to fit a narrative around him so I don’t worry so much about that side. I know the reality of what he is and what he gives.

“It’s unfortunate. We’re supposedly in this great world now where everyone ‘cares’, this wonderful atmosphere where everyone wants to look after you. It’s rubbish because the first thing people do is try and stitch you up.

“It’s contradictory, it’s unbelievable. So there’s something framed around him which, OK, he’ll have to live with but that’s someone else’s narrative.

“This is a 23-year-old boy who is single, he’s been given a week free. We try to educate them in many ways but this is something I’m not too bothered about.

“I can only judge him on my time here, nearly a year now, he’s been absolutely brilliant for me. And outside of the pitch, he’s been an absolute joy.

“A charming young man, really respectful. He really respects what he has here at Leicester.”

Maddison has scored nine goals for Leicester, who sit third in the Premier League, this season having joined from Norwich for £24million in 2018.

He has broken into the England setup and made his senior debut in the 7-0 win over Montenegro last year.

Rodgers added: “He is a talent, what we try to educate off the pitch is to focus every day on training, and how important training is. It’s not just about the talent, you have to work at your talent.

“There’s two different mindsets, a social mindset and a professional mindset. The top ones, professionally, have the mentality to do it every single day and look after themselves and then produce.

“Availability, staying fit, looking after yourself over numbers of years, that’s the difference.”