Without European football, there’ll be no need to rotate this season, according to Jurgen Klopp – probably why he’s been so keen to offload the squad players this summer.
The boss reckons he’ll change players due to the tactical demands of different matches, but claims that he won’t need to necessarily rest players between weekends – much like Claudio Ranieri’s title winning Leicester didn’t either.
Klopp cited our loss to Sevilla in our last competitive fixture as a travesty, but admitted it will enable him to select from a smaller, core bunch of players during 2016/17.
“When we lost the Europa League final, there was absolutely nothing worthwhile about it, just a load of disappointment. In the end the only positive thing about not playing European football this year is that we have more time to train and that is what we have to use, 100 per cent,” Klopp told the official website.
“That’s why we need to create a very strong team in the best understanding of the word ‘team’. We need to have competition.
“We need a situation where the players push themselves and each one pushes the other for each position and wants to be in the team because you have time to recover.
“So it’s not that you have to change the team a lot between two Saturday games or two Sunday games – it’s nothing about rotation. It’s about: ‘OK, who is ready now? Who is ready to perform how we need in each specific game?'”
This term then a regular starting place in Klopp’s Liverpool side is there to be won – or lost…
We face Arsenal on Sunday, and the squad will know if they manage to start quickly and impressively, our XI will begin to forge itself. At the moment, there’s doubts over who will become the first-choice centre-back pairing, the central midfield three and the centre-forward – or even whether Klopp will use 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1.
We’re glad though that Klopp will rotate less. All Premier League winning sides have been built on a backbone of the same eight or nine players doing the business week in, week out. That’s even in recent years – with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea team before Leicester rarely rotating either.