Jurgen Klopp is more than happy with Jordan Henderson as his long-term club captain, but doesn’t see too much importance in the ‘on-pitch’ role.
The boss was answering questions ahead of today’s FA Cup 4th Round tie with West Brom, having picked six different captains over the past few weeks.
Under previous managers, this would have been practically unheard of, with the Liverpool armband something earned and iconic, rather than a throwaway thought.
Klopp though reckons the off field work Henderson and his vice-captain James Milner do is more important, claiming he’ll never choose a lineup where he wants to shoe in the captain.
“Jordan Henderson is our captain and is a perfect captain for us,” Klopp said, cited in the Echo.
“If he’s not on the pitch, James Milner is our vice captain and if he’s not there then someone else has to wear it.
“They can’t wear the armband in the stands or on the bench, but they are still the captain.
“They have to do so many things around the dressing room for a big club like Liverpool.
“They have so many questions to answer, a lot of things to talk to me about. That’s the job.
“On the pitch you need to share responsibility. It was not in my plans to give it to how many, six different players? Sorry for that, but I am not disrespectful about this. I was captain myself for many years, it can be an important job, it depends on how you fill the role.
“In this club it’s maybe a little bit different because Stevie (Gerrard) was captain for, it feels like 25 years or so! So it’s normal that you talk about ‘who can fill this role?’
“But I think we did well in the last few years and I’m really happy with Jordan’s captaincy. My plan is not to find a line-up where one of our captains can be in. I make the line-up then I realise somebody has to wear the armband. That was different people in the last few weeks.”
We’ve probably been spoilt a little with Steven Gerrard, as Klopp intimates.
He was such a wonderful captain in his loyalty, leadership and ability that a benchmark has certainly been set.
For Liverpool fans, we just want a captain to be able to take charge of situations on the field. Against Swansea on Monday, the majority of players went into their shells and nobody took the game by the scruff of the neck.
We’d like Roberto Firmino to be considered – or Virgil van Dijk – long-term – although under Klopp, we’re not sure will happen anytime soon.