Pundit Danny Higginbotham has recently criticised Jurgen Klopp’s team selection in the club’s loss to Burnley at Anfield.
Higginbotham appeared as a guest on the latest episode of the Two Robbies podcast and the panel discussed multiple issues involving the Premier League. One topic of discussion was Liverpool’s loss to Burnley at Anfield. While talking about the Reds’ performance, Higginbotham criticised Jurgen Klopp’s team selection, when it comes to his decision to drop Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino to the bench.
Did Klopp get his team selection wrong?
Salah and Firmino were on the bench for the game, but both of them had come on in the second half. Divock Origi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had started though, but both of them were taken off later in the game. Sadio Mane had kept his place, starting on the left in the club’s 4-3-3 shape (as per WhoScored).
Higginbotham questioned Klopp’s decision to use Origi and Oxlade-Chamberlain instead of Salah and Firmino.
He said: “I must admit, I was really surprised with the team selection. I think that when you look at Firmino, when you look at Salah, and you think to yourself, ‘okay, not [in] great form at the moment.’ Salah is still top of the scoring charts in the Premier League and I thought that Jurgen Klopp would have allowed the players to actually play through the little bit of the situation they find themselves in, where they’re not in the greatest of forms, but he didn’t. He decided to change and he brings in Origi – no Premier League goal this season. Oxlade-Chamberlain came in as well – no Premier League goal this season.
“The problem that I think Liverpool had was that they wanted to play the same way as if Salah were in the team or as if Firmino were in the team, but what happened was the players just kept getting in each other’s way and Burnley defended fantastically and I don’t think we can forget about that, but I just think that the lineup was probably music to Sean Dyche’s ears. I think it only fueled more fire towards the Burnley players in terms of maybe looking at it thinking Liverpool were disrespecting them.”
TIF Thoughts on Higginbotham’s comments on Klopp…
In the 2020/21 season, Origi is yet to score a single goal in the Premier League or Champions League for Liverpool. Oxlade-Chamberlain has also not scored this term and has played only five times in all competitions in the campaign.
This shows that they aren’t players who will guarantee goals to the team and because of that, they may not be ideal replacements for Salah and Firmino – so perhaps Klopp got his selection wrong. But having said that, the Reds have a FA Cup game against Manchester United coming up and it may be that Klopp thought about resting some key players for that game, so it is understandable why he decided to keep the duo on the bench.