The head smash and choke move doesn’t have the same ring to it as Cruyff turn but Adam Lallana still thought to give it a whirl during that ill-fated showing with Liverpool’s u23s this week. Lallana had a rush of blood to his head after one too many scraps with an opposing player and was sent off. It doesn’t look good. And retaliatory violence is always a poor decision.
Jürgen Klopp was asked today to comment on the incident and the fallout for the player. Unsurprisingly, the manager’s response was calm and understanding.
“It’s not nice,” said Klopp. “I spoke to him, of course, about that. That’s not how it should be. He’s not happy about it.
“Meanwhile, I understand why it happened. It was not the challenge before the situation. There was another challenge before that.
“Adam is not happy about the reaction, as I was not happy about it. But it doesn’t change my mind about Adam, of course.
“There’s nothing good to say about the reaction but as a former footballer, when I saw the other challenge, to be honest, I understand at least a little bit. It’s not to excuse. But when we played football we all did a few things we are not proud of.”
Lallana hasn’t had the luckiest of seasons. Injury has kept him out the team for most of it and his returns to the pitch have only been followed by yet more time off of it. But Klopp is optimistic about Lallana’s current availability for Southampton.
“He is on the way back, again, this season,” said Klopp.
“He’s for sure an option for the squad. Is he an option for the first eleven? I’d rather think not. But, maybe. I can sleep twice before we play Southampton so maybe I’ll change my mind. We’ll see.
“It’s how it always is with Adam. In good shape, really quick, he looks fresh, he looks good and we think ‘what can we do with him?’”
So, expect Lallana to at least be camera-ready on the bench at Southampton. And if he makes it into the game expect two nutmegs and three Cruyff turns as penance.