The time has come for Jürgen Klopp to utilize the whole of his talented squad. Those players not selected for Liverpool’s opening four fixtures will begin to get called into the match day team more frequently.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started at Southampton but went back to the bench for two more substitute performances against Arsenal and Burnley. Divock Origi walked out at Anfield against Norwich City before going sub. It was the same for Joe Gomez except young Joe never got off of the bench again. Xherdan Shaqiri and Adam Lallana have each seen five or so minutes of action in the dying embers of the wins against Southampton and Arsenal respectively.
These players are about to have plenty of opportunities to play their way into Klopp’s planning.
The manager was up front about his desire for creating a rhythm at the start of the season. Now that all of the 11 to 13 core players have locked in Klopp can pepper in a player or two here and there to keep the team fresh while maintaining its rhythm.
The games will be flying passed us in the coming weeks and the manager will need everyone.
“Rotation? Absolutely,” said Klopp. “They know it - the situation we spoke about last time, we said OK, the first four match days, we had twice a week to prepare, so there is no reason [to change]. You won the games.
“We found a rhythm, so there was no reason for changes, no need for rotation, why rotate to just show ‘you can play as well’? They know they can play as well.
”But we have to make results, so that’s why we kept it pretty much like this, but now we have players who played Tuesday and Wednesday, and so we have to make sure we find solutions and we hope it can work out.
“Of course it is the upcoming time now that is the most intense period - right through until January right, so really now we are going - it’s the slog, absolutely.”
The Reds are in first place in the Premier League, having gotten sharper with each match. The first team was cooking before the international break. It was only missing a fit and ready Alisson. Adrián has been a solid number two and I’m confident going into Europe with him as Liverpool’s goalkeeper. But Alisson is in a different business.
Anyway, I love a good slog. And Klopp has Liverpool in a terrific position heading into it. The rhythm has got them.