Hindsight doesn’t look fondly on Jurgen Klopp and his decision against rotation v Napoli.
Not that you should judge anyone purely on hindsight, of course. But then, we did think an opportunity had presented itself before the game.
Liverpool face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday and given the way the title race has started, a win would be near-priceless. The Reds already have a five-point gap at the top and need to keep this momentum running as long as possible.
But Chelsea present a real test of Klopp’s side. A full-strength team will be key but the same players just fought Napoli five days prior.
Hindsight again tells us that Klopp felt he could win against both Napoli and Chelsea. Unfortunately, 2-0 defeat in Naples means that won’t happen and the only thing Liverpool have now is a tired first-team.
Klopp could have had a very good reason to avoid rotation against Napoli, though. He may just not see this as a key point in the season.
Instead, that would be December – the busiest period in the season. The Champions League group stage ends that month, too, and it may be that Klopp wanted to guarantee that game wouldn’t be key.
The best way to do that? Win your openers and qualify with time to spare.
That way Liverpool could have rested one or two in the final group game ahead of the busy period. It’s one theory, anyway – and one that makes sense.
Unfortunately, it’s a missed chance, though, and hopefully, one Liverpool don’t regret once Sunday is over.