In his time at Liverpool Football Club, Dejan Lovren has put in some solid performances. However, it seems like his next absolute shocker is never terribly far away.
If you were to compile a worst of the worst list of Lovren in Red, the 4-1 away defeat to Tottenham Hotspur would be among the contenders for this dubious distinction. After being directly involved in both sloppily conceded early goals, the Croatian got the hook after just half an hour gone.
Now, with Tottenham coming to town for the reverse fixture, manager Jurgen Klopp reflected on that moment in a pre-match press conference.
“How I assess it is obvious because Dejan has played pretty much constantly since that game,” Klopp said.
“All this discussion is opened from the outside: ‘He’s not good enough, he’s that, he’s that.’
“He’s played a few fantastic games since Tottenham and before as well. Tottenham was a very bad game of the whole team.
“He was not good that day that’s true but after the game I said I could have changed five or six players at least in that moment but we decided for Dejan.”
Pulling Lovren was the easy part. The far harder part was managing the player, and getting him back into the squad, playing his role in the squad. In this regard, Klopp has done exceptionally well in managing Lovren, both through this incident, and countless ones before it.
“We had a few talks afterwards. I thought it was a normal thing. He obviously thought different so we had a few talks. I have to make a lot of decisions and not all of them I explain afterwards to the players.
“Sometimes I leave them alone, that’s part of the deal. They are out there, it’s quite an intense fight all the time and it’s not that you will be prepared for all of that by giving hugs through the week.
“It was not an easy moment in the world of football to do something like that in public before half-time. It causes a story, but he has responded fantastic so all good.”
Since that Tottenham game, Lovren has been one of our consistently better defenders (along with, shockingly, Ragnar Klavan). Hopefully he’ll be able to right the wrongs if he gets another crack at Spurs when they come to town tomorrow.