This month saw an international break to forget for Kopites. Although, just how easy we will find it to forget remains to be seen – grudges will likely be held. Joe Gomez was booed at Wembley after being assaulted by Raheem Sterling, the Reds’ defender then left the England camp with ‘injury’. Liverpool fans shouldn’t worry about the five players that withdrew from international duty, they should be excited by it.
In the last week we have seen Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson and Mo Salah all withdraw from their international sides.
Virgil stated ‘personal reasons’. Henderson cited an illness, Gomez a knee injury. Robbo left Scotland due to an ankle injury, Salah withdrew from the Egypt squad with his own ankle problem.
On the face of it, five Liverpool players having to withdraw from international duty is ominous to say the least. However, it would be safe to assume that things are not all as they seem.
Each of the Reds involved in Euro qualifiers only had dead rubber fixtures ahead of them. The Netherlands can only miss out on automatic qualification if they are beaten by bottom of the group Estonia whilst Northern Ireland beat Germany by more than 11 goals. England qualified from their group with time to spare and Scotland’s chances were already over.
Egypt were involved in AFCON qualifying but are strong favourites to win their group.
It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that the Reds withdrew from international duty in order to keep themselves fighting fit for the Premier League title race. Prognoses haven’t been offered for the players’ injuries and ailments, it wouldn’t be a shock to see each of them in the squad to face Crystal Palace.
Kopites should be excited by the passion and commitment shown by the Liverpool players that have chosen to preserve themselves in order to further the club’s cause.