News emerged out of Germany on Sunday that Thomas Tuchel had chosen to rest a substantial number of players in preparation for his side's second leg Europa League tie at Anfield on Thursday, fielding a weakened side against Shalke despite the fact that Dortmund is still chasing the Bundesliga title.
Not to be outdone, Jürgen Klopp fielded a motley group of fringe players himself, picking a team that would not have been out of place in an early round League Cup tie against lower division opposition. (Minus Jose Enrique.) Joe Allen was amongst them, but his substitution should not be seen as anything but a compliment according to his manager.
"He was brilliant," Klopp confirmed. "There is no other word for this. We only took him off because we need him. Joe is not 100 percent fit, but it is not possible because he couldn't train often enough. He was always on the bench because we have needed him. He's a really good player. Now, hopefully he stays healthy forever and now he's a really good option."
Allen has had difficulty breaking into Klopp's side as a regular starter, but has absolutely fulfilled his end of the player-manager bargain by putting in positive performances whenever he sees the pitch. All he can do at this point is hope that Klopp includes him on the team sheet, and with the manager hailing the wee midfielder's weekend brilliance, it sounds like Allen will be seeing the pitch against Dortmund on Thursday.