Liverpool centre-back Mamadou Sakho has become the first current squad member to openly criticise recently sacked manager Brendan Rodgers, raging against his exile in the opening weeks of the season The France international said he was "like a caged lion" when Rodgers kept him out of the first five Premier League campaign games in favour of Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren.
Rodgers signed the Frenchman in the summer of 2013, paying £18m ($27m) to Paris Saint-Germain for his services. Sakho failed to establish himself as a favourite of the former Swansea manager, with a number of injuries hampering his integration into the Liverpool side.
Having started just 15 Premier League games last season, the 25-year-old was even linked with a move away from Anfield during the transfer window. Instead, he signed a new deal at the Merseysiders and regained a berth in Rodgers' line-up in the Europa League draw with Bordeaux.
However, just hours after Rodgers was given his P45 at Liverpool, Sakho has spoken about the frustration he felt under the former boss.
"Let's say that during the short period when I was not playing, I was like a little caged lion who had not been fed for a while. And when you open the door, he charges," he said to L'Equipe.
Sakho, who wore the Liverpool captain's armband for the first time in the match against Bordeaux , has also revealed that former captain Steven Gerrard sent him a congratulatory message and encouraged him to keep his place in the line-up.
"Steven is an example. Also, he often sends me small text messages like after my first match of the season at Bordeaux, in the Europa League, with the captain armband. He texted me to congratulate me. Continue to fight like that, I'm proud of you. It's always nice to receive such a message from a great player."