Jurgen Klopp has expressed his displeasure at the positioning of Andy Robertson during the first-half of last night’s game against Villarreal.
The opening 45 minutes couldn’t have gone much worse for Liverpool. Behind after only two minutes, their aggregate lead was wiped out just before half-time amidst some poor individual displays.
In the end The Reds managed to turn it around to end the night comfortably. But speaking to the press via liverpoolfc.com after the game, Klopp singled out his left-back as someone who particularly struggled to get going.
“Obviously Thiago got massive pressure when he dropped, our full-backs – especially Robbo – were too early, too high in moments and we had five players in one line and nobody for the decisive pass,” said the manager.
“So there were so many problems, it’s not that I can explain it now, but you saw them as well – and you saw the second half.”
Robbo in need of a rest
Robertson wasn’t the only one struggling that’s for sure. The two goals did both come down his side though, and he was culpable in possession more than once, too.
Given the standards that he has set at Liverpool, this was a below-par performance. The 28-year-old improved along with everyone else after the break, but he still wasn’t quite at his best.
In the end he was replaced by Kostas Tsimikas with ten minutes left on the clock. That affords Robbo a little bit of respite from the relentless schedule. Perhaps it would have been wise for Klopp to take him off a little earlier than he did, though.
Time for Tsimikas
Robertson hasn’t played quite as much football as in years-gone-by. Tsimikas’ quality has allowed him to take the odd night off without worrying that he’ll be needed.
With enormous games now coming every week though, the players Klopp is using has shrunk recently. But Liverpool have now added the biggest game in club football to their calendar. Jurgen needs to make sure his best players come into that in the best possible shape.
That may mean that we see more of Tsimikas between now and May 28th. Peak fitness Robertson is like no other left-back on the planet. If he’s tired and over-played, he starts to look a little leggy.
Tsimikas is more than capable of taking over to give him a breather and he hasn’t played too much of late. On this evidence, Robbo could do with a little rest, starting with Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.