If you were trying to decide which Liverpool player would fall under suspicion for actually being a robot or cyborg, your best bet would have to be Nathaniel Clyne. Before having to sit out the matches against Southampton and Manchester United with a muscle tear between his ribs, Clyne had seemed curiously unbreakable. We now know that Liverpool’s right back isn’t a machine after all, but that he just has that good old-fashioned determination to play.
“Everyone knows I don’t like missing games,” said Clyne. “If I’ve got a knock or a strain I’ll play with it because I enjoy playing so much and want to contribute so sitting out a few games was tough.”
Clyne is back in the team but that alone isn’t going to pull Liverpool up out of the funk they find themselves in. They need a win against Tottenham Hotspur. But to win, they need to pull themselves out of the funk. But to pull themselves out of the funk, they need to win. It’s complicated, is what I’m saying. But that’s what training and preparations are for, I suppose.
“We’ve worked on a lot of things this week,” he said, “set pieces, defending as a team and also our movements when we attack. It’s been about what we need to do as a team to get the three points.
“We’ve got fourteen games to go and there’s a lot to play for. I still believe we’ve got the quality to finish in that top four.”
Spurs are full confidence right now, being unbeaten in eleven games. But while the likes of Harry Kane and Deli Alli are capable of making something from nothing and getting results, they’ve been somewhat muted by opposition defenses of late. Can Liverpool accomplish the same?
“If we keep them quiet then we’ll have a real possibility of getting a positive result,” said Clyne.
“Spurs picked up where they left off last season. They are a top side with quality all over the pitch.
“But we’ll take confidence from the draw at White Hart Lane earlier this season. We were the better team and cruising before they equalized.
“Beating Spurs would definitely change the mood. We’d only be one point behind them. We know how important this game is.”
But, then again, if Clyne really was a cyborg, isn’t this exactly what we’d expect him to say?