Liverpool defender Ragnar Klavan has opened up on the supposed lack of leadership throughout the squad that saw the Reds subject to criticism during the early weeks of 2017.
The turn of the year marked the start of a testing period for the Estonian and his team-mates, who have since slumped to disappointing defeats against Swansea, Hull, Wolves and Leicester.
Injuries and Sadio Mane’s departure for the African Cup of Nations somewhat hampered any momentum we had built in the early months of the season and the team’s supposed lack of characters often came into question.
Klavan has outlined how anyone in this Liverpool team is capable of being the kind of leader that is needed, regardless if they are loud or not.
“There are different ways to lead a team,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
“Everybody talks to me about Steven Gerrard. He wasn’t the kind of person who was just on the field screaming and yelling at everybody. He had other qualities that could motivate a team. When he had something to say his words were spot on.”
“It doesn’t make you the best captain simply because you are the loudest. There are many different styles and you must remember that it’s not just how you are on the field but how you are in the locker rooms that can make you a leader or a good captain.”
“I’m not the loudest guy in the locker room or on the pitch. If I need to say something when it needs saying then I don’t yell. I prefer to tell people one on one what I think about a situation.”
He has absolutely nailed it. As valuable as it is to have a vocal leader, this isn’t what makes a leader.
A leader takes responsibility on the ball, goes all out to receive it at every opportunity and make something happen every time they have it at their feet- something we need to see from more of our players.
It’s for this reason that Jordan Henderson’s neither captaincy or his importance to the team cannot be disputed. He is always demanding the ball and always look as though he wants to inspire those around him. We have the characters in the squad, it’s just about unveiling their ability to lead.