We have often opined about the the general meh-ness - this is a real term - of the international break. And even if we have the occasion to look at one of these pauses in the club season - especially during an off-year for major international competitions - with something resembling affection, the break still manages to bring with it an air of malaise and discontent.
This current iteration is no different, with word that Liverpool’s star right back, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and the ebullient attacker, Xherdan Shaqiri, were both held out of their respective national team’s matches due to injury concerns. With the all-important run-in to the end of the season and Liverpool in the thick of a title race, the squad would be in need of both player’s services. So what started as a break hopeful for rest and respite, turned into one tinged with panic.
Jurgen Klopp was asked about the availability of both players ahead of Sunday’s match with Tottenham Hotspur and, thankfully, his response allows for a bit more hope at the moment.
“There was actually no alternative for Shaq and Trent, not being involved in the games in that period. Anything else would have been really crazy because they needed that, they needed treatment, needed rehab and all that stuff. They should all be OK, I heard nothing different this morning since I’ve been here, so they should be OK. They will train again today and then we will see.”
Well, that’s certainly positive. As it stands, it appears that both players are at least in consideration for the match on Sunday. This is a terrific bit of news and coupled with earlier noise - also confirmed in Klopp’s presser - regarding Joe Gomez’s health, things are generally looking up for the Reds as it relates to the injury department. Bring on the weekend, then, and let’s nab the three points.