There was a time when Martin Kelly was the young guy motoring up and down the right flank for Liverpool just like Trent Alexander-Arnold. We had high hopes. And Kelly had some good games for the team playing at right back. But ultimately he was a square peg in a round hole at fullback and was never going to seriously shift centrally, so off he went. But Liverpool remains in Kelly’s soul since he began his career at the Academy in Kirby as a boy. And the Crystal Palace defender could be forgiven for feeling a bit jealous at what he sees progressing with Liverpool under the management of Jürgen Klopp.
“I was there from the age of seven so it was my childhood dream to get through the ranks and to play for Liverpool,” said Kelly.
“They’ve been a massive part of my life and football career so the respect I’ve got for Liverpool is massive. I think they’ve got a great squad of elite players.
“If you ask any Liverpool fan they’ll be expecting trophies. I think you can see the changes Klopp’s made. He’s taken the team to the next level and the player’s he’s got in the team fit into the way he wants to play, the high press with energy on the ball.
“It’s going to be exciting for the fans to go and watch Liverpool week in and week out because they know they’re going to get the attacking style of play that they expect.”
But what isn’t so exciting for the fans, Mr. Kelly, is Crystal Palace heading into town with the current winning record they’ve earned on Merseyside of late. The Eagles have won their last three matches at Anfield and will be hopeful of setting up similarly to frustrate Liverpool by packing it in and hitting our boys on the counter.
“We let Liverpool have the majority of possession and use pace to counter attack,” said Kelly. “That’s worked well over the past few games we’ve played at Anfield.
“I think we’ll have a game plan in place again and the new manager has got his philosophy on how we play now. Hopefully it comes off again for the fourth time.”
That would be terrible. But on the bright side, new Palace boss Frank de Boer will be up against Klopp’s furious Reds for the very first time. And this after the London club were just hammered 3-0 by Premier League newcomers Huddersfield Town last weekend. It’s time to take the power back.