DANNY MURPHY: Maybe it’s a good thing Trent Alexander-Arnold isn’t fit to play against Manchester City… the priority for the Liverpool right-back should be to defend first and attack second
- Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Sunday’s visit to Manchester City at Anfield
- Full-back sidelined due to injury with Joe Gomez ready to start
- Gomez may be better suited to deal with the offensive threats City poses
- Jurgen Klopp’s squad faces the biggest test of the season against Pep Guardiola
With Manchester City playing and Liverpool leaking goals, it may not be a bad thing for Jurgen Klopp to have Joe Gomez as right-back instead of the injured Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Gomez is a more orthodox defender and that’s even more important now that Liverpool are focusing on that as they’ve switched to 4-2-3-1 to bring in an extra attacking player.
When it comes to Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nunez on Sunday, with Mo Salah and Diogo Jota wider, the priority for the Liverpool right-back should be defender first, rather than moving forward.
Trent Alexander-Arnold will miss Sunday’s game against Manchester City due to injury
Joe Gomez (center) expected to replace right-back for Sunday’s Anfield encounter
Of course you would miss Alexander-Arnold’s creative ability, but what Liverpool hope is that they have the extra firepower on the pitch to still create chances.
There will be times when Liverpool are behind and then Gomez’s athleticism and one-on-one capabilities will be more than helpful.
Erling Haaland is unstoppable but Liverpool seem as good as anyone to have the tools to have Virgil van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate in the center of defense and Gomez on the right.
They are a powerful and fast trio that may have something to do with Haaland. Joel Matip and Alexander-Arnold are technically better, but when you’re up against the best team in Europe you need the most solid defensive arsenal available. Jurgen still believes.
Jurgen Klopp’s struggling Liverpool side face their biggest test of the season against City
I understand why Klopp has said Liverpool cannot compete with the richest clubs like Manchester City. It is a reality check for critics of Liverpool’s transfer policy.
But does the man himself believe it? I do not think so. It’s only been a few months since Liverpool competed for a historic Quadruple, so of course they can compete with the best.
Klopp didn’t go into the first day of pre-season thinking Liverpool couldn’t compete. He would have come to think they could win any trophy. Things haven’t gotten off to a great start, but that doesn’t mean ambition is forever limited.
Alexander-Arnold has faced heavy criticism this season after a string of poor showings
We know what the Liverpool manager is like. He wouldn’t go all out if he didn’t think they couldn’t compete. Yes, Liverpool cannot afford as many £50m players as City can, but Klopp recognizes that money does not create hunger, cohesion and tactics.
It buys you top players, but there’s more than that to build a winning team. In my opinion, Klopp’s comments were like brain games, a message to people who expect Liverpool to win every game. But does he really think they can’t compete with City? I do not think so.
Didi deserves better. Dietmar Hamann is a friend and former team-mate, Klopp is a management god in my eyes for what he has done at Liverpool.
Whoever starts as right-back for Liverpool will face Phil Foden (left) or Jack Grealish (right)
The two clearly don’t get along but I don’t think the Liverpool boss needs to get personal if Didi says something he doesn’t like or even finds disrespectful.
Klopp has so much credit in the bank that he doesn’t have to answer to anyone, not even ex-Liverpool players in the media.
If a Hamann quote is thrown at him at a press conference, I think Klopp would be much better off just saying ‘Next question, not interested’ rather than fanning the fire with personal comments.
Experts are there to express an opinion, Klopp is better to just let them go. He’s too good at his job to care about what others think.