It’s always a little bit scary when Liverpool’s best players disappear off to other teams and other training regimes. Injuries abound is the usual feeling. This might encourage some more rotation and deliberate substitutions, but the Liverpool manager says no.
“I don’t plan subs before the game,” the Liverpool Echo report Jürgen Klopp as saying.
“We react normally to the situation of the game. [The international break] has no influence.
“If we were all to have a holiday afterwards, then it would be slightly different but the boys don’t have, they go I think four days later, they have to play pretty much all over the world.
“And in between they have quite interesting trips. 30 hours on a flight from one point to another and then to another.
“No, I make the decisions that suit the needs in the game.”
When asked specifically about whether he’s concerned about the minutes Virgil van Dijk will have to play, Klopp was clear: ”that goes for all my players.
“I know what you mean with Virgil being the centre of the defence and I am happy nothing happened, but the situation was that we don’t make the fixtures.
“We get the fixtures and we play them. Sometimes we have the choice of six or seven players for two positions and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes there are no perfect solutions. For the Arsenal game we thought that was the best solution.
“Most of the boys want to play each game. Virgil had no problem. The specific situation gave us a need to have all our big guns, as it were.
“Can you imagine my image with ignoring cups if I would have played two kids in the last line? This press conference would have been completely different but it was just the need for 45 mins or 60 mins last night. The actual plan was 45 minutes and that was no problem. It is if it gets to say 80 minutes and that is when it gets really intense, until then it is not a problem at all.
“So we made the decision and that is how it is, but with Joel injured and Fabinho wasn’t really planned to play.
“What Rhys Williams did last night looked really good. Billy could have played as well but he was slightly injured.
“Having two kids in the last line would have been too tricky. We wanted to win the game and could have, but we didn’t. It was possible and that’s why we did it.”
It’s a tough, compressed season. These ridiculous international breaks make it harder. Let’s just hope for the best here.