Jürgen Klopps admits his regret at not selecting Jon Flanagan for the Europa League shortlist and Manchester United’s “Wall of White” is discussed today.
Liverpool are a club which have always held incredibly high regard for the homegrown players. Not that other clubs don’t but the Scousers have always had a bond with the crowd which you cannot manufacture. Take Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher for example, they were adored not just for their talent and commitment but also for their connection with the city and the people. You do get the exceptions like Mamadou Sakho who has been adopted as a honorary Scouser having been born in Paris.
There are currently only two players who are from Liverpool with Gerrard and Carragher both having left Liverpool in recent years. Jordan Rossiter and Jon Flanagan currently play in the first team although Rossiter is just returning from a hamstring injury.
Flanagan has become somewhat of a cult-hero amongst the fans in recent days after smashing Raheem Sterling in a 50/50 challenge. He later said that the tackle was for the fans. The tackle came in the very first minute of Liverpool’s dominant 3-0 win over Manchester City at home. Sterling was subsequently substituted at halftime.
Klopp has just revealed his regret at not selecting Jon Flanagan for the Europa League.
“Now we have too many centre-halves,” he said after selecting Steven Caulker in place of the young fullback. When the list was submitted Liverpool were struggling with injuries and so Caulker was selected but now that players are returning Klopp says that there are too many centre-halves in the squad for Europe.
“The day before we put the squad list in we didn’t have any. Now we have too many and you think: ‘My God what have we done?’” [Via Liverpool Echo]
“That was the thing we had to do at that time. Now we have to get into the next round with the players we have available.”
Klopp was keen on pointing out that Flanagan needs to be patient. When asked about his chances of playing against Palace, he replied, “He hasn’t played two games in four days so I am not sure that we should [risk him]”.
Liverpool face Manchester United in the round of 16 in the Europa League. This will be the very first time that the two sides will face off in Europe despite being rivals for so long. In a bid to foster an atmosphere worthy of the occasion Manchester United are giving all travelling supporters a free white shirt in what is being labelled “A Wall of White.”
There has been a lot of criticism of this mostly saying that United are acting like plastic fans but this is not the case. This is merely an attempt to foster an atmosphere, which might not need, in a tie that means a lot to both clubs. It will be very interesting to see how many United fans wear the shirts and how Liverpool supporters react on Thursday evening in the first leg of the tie.