Against Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp chose to take Alberto Moreno out of the side and bring in Jon Flanagan, but instead of deploying the Englishman at left-back, he moved Nathaniel Clyne there and slotted Flanno in on the right.
This was interesting, as Flanagan’s played more games for Liverpool as a left-back – the position he made his own during the 2013/14 Premier League title pursuit. This is despite the fact he’s right-footed, but so is Clyne…
Many Reds speculated that the decision was made so Flanagan could target the returning Raheem Sterling, especially after our fullback smashed the young winger into the air in the very first minute of the game!
But the Liverpool boss told today’s press-conference that Sterling had nothing to do with the positioning, and it was instead because Flanagan’s been out for such a long time – although he took time to praise the now infamous tackle!
“It’s a man’s sport no problem. Hard but fair – that’s cool. I love this,” Klopp began, cited in the Echo.
“We have Flanno now. It was clear he would play. Alberto got a really bad knock in the first half of the final. I know Flanno played on the left too, but after a long time I didn’t want to put him on the other side. It wasn’t the plan for Flanno to take Raheem out of the game.”
Flanagan should keep his spot at left-back for the Crystal Palace clash, but sadly won’t be able to face Manchester United in the Europa League double-header as he wasn’t selected in the squad.