Joe Gomez had a chance to earn a place in the team to face Manchester City this weekend. Unfortunately, he likely failed it.
We wrote last week that Gomez and Dejan Lovren would probably have two games each to earn a place. As it happened, things did turn out that way.
Lovren played the Premier League games against Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa. Gomez played the midweek two, first against Arsenal and then against Genk.
Neither, it should be said, set the world alight in their ‘auditions’ for the place against City but Gomez will probably be the one to miss out.
For one thing, he played the two ‘minor’ games, compared to Lovren’s. That in itself suggests he was fighting an uphill battle but his performances didn’t help.
Every defender looks bad when you concede five at home. While Gomez was the only experienced, natural defender in the back four that day, it just doesn’t reflect well when you concede that many. He wasn’t horrendous but he didn’t earn any praise, either.
While he also didn’t look entirely comfortable against Genk. Gomez was a little rash, lacked some composure, and just didn’t look like the same player as the start of last season.
That was something echoed on Twitter:
What is happening with Gomez. Seems a shadow of himself this season!? #LIVGEN
— Andrew Jones (@WelshLib_Dublin) November 5, 2019
— 🏆🏆🏆 Piia 🏆🏆🏆 (@PiiaMay) November 5, 2019
Joe Gomez looks like a lost sheep…#LIVGEN
— Vinny🏃 (@vinnyknowsnowt) November 5, 2019
— Rohit Kapoor (@Rohit_Kapoor) November 5, 2019
Joe Gomez is all over the place.. He's definitely off form so far this season..#LIVGEN
— Muhd Solihin (@solMD22) November 5, 2019
And so you’d expect Jurgen Klopp to stick with Lovren for the City game. Gomez needed to truly shine against Genk to earn a place, he needed to show that even Lovren’s extra rest wasn’t going to keep him from that spot.
Instead, he looked too out of form to face a clash as big as Sunday’s.