Jurgen Klopp believes Kostas Tsimikas ‘deserved to play’ for Liverpool against Newcastle United today. The boss couldn’t justify it, though.
Liverpool beat Newcastle United 1-0 in the North East earlier today and they did it with a heavily rotated side. Jurgen Klopp opted to rest several stars in a difficult week, with the likes of Mohamed Salah, Fabinho, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Thiago sitting on the bench.
In came James Milner, Joe Gomez, Diogo Jota and Naby Keita – the latter of whom proved decisive. We imagine Klopp’s pretty delighted with that, then. He was able to give rest to those who needed it and still kept up the pressure in the title race.
But Klopp admits he’d have liked to rotate even more than he did. Kostas Tsimikas, for instance, probably should have gotten a game for Liverpool but the boss couldn’t quite justify it.
“Look, it’s my job to make decisions, I don’t have to do a lot of other things,” he said, per Liverpoolfc.com. “For example, Kostas Tsimikas would’ve deserved to play and Robbo would have had a break as well.
“But when you change one full-back and a centre-half and there are three changes in the last line, what I think then is, ‘No, don’t do that, let’s do it like this.'”
Kostas Tsimikas sits out for Liverpool
We predicted a few changes ahead of this one but, admittedly, didn’t think Tsimikas would start. Klopp’s reasoning makes complete sense, too – there can be too many changes when the team is in such good form.
It does sound as though Tsimikas is a near-guarantee to start in Spain on Tuesday, though. Liverpool’s 2-0 lead over Villarreal will allow for a bit of rotation as the Reds don’t necessarily need to win the game. Tsimikas for Robertson feels like the most obvious change possible.
We’re big fans of the Greek, too, and he’s got more than enough to play a key role in a Champions League semi-final. He certainly deserves his shot.