It was probably the wrong decision in purely footballing terms to leave Xherdan Shaqiri out of our trip to Red Star Belgrade.
We ended up losing 2-0, with the midfield totally lacking in creativity on unarguably the worst night of our campaign.
Jurgen Klopp decided to leave Shaqiri at home, over the potential threat to his safety in and outside the stadium.
Shaqiri is a controversial figure in Serbia for purely political reasons, after he celebrated his goal for Switzerland against them in the World Cup by making an Albanian Eagle gesture -a reference to the Kosovo conflict.
We won’t go into detail about the rights and wrongs (although Shaqiri has absolutely nothing to apologise for), but instead share his thoughts on the matter, which have now come out.
“There is a very hot atmosphere there and so it was better to stay at home and just concentrate on football,” he said, cited in Football365.
“I was fresh, I stayed here and trained with some other players but it doesn’t change a lot. I wanted to give a good performance and, yeah, it was a good one.
“In the end it is the coach’s decision who is playing and against who. If he decides to play you from the beginning, nice and good, but also if you are on the bench, try to come in and make an impact.
“Only 11 players can play and we have a big squad (so) everybody has to accept the decisions of the coach and until now it’s going very good and we are in a good way.”
At least with Shaqiri rested for Red Star, he was able to put in a top performance against Fulham at the weekend, where his second goal confirmed our 2-0 win.
The maestro must start games from now on, as we look a much better side with him involved.
In fact, this season, Liverpool have scored a goal every 23 minutes that Shaqiri, Sadio Mane, Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino have played together.