Jurgen Klopp has explained his decision to field Roberto Firmino at right-back towards the end of Liverpool’s victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
The Reds eventually won 4-3, but there were some incredibly nervy moments towards the game’s death, especially with Wilfried Zaha finding himself one v one with Rafa Camacho in the box with seconds to go.
Bobby was actually moved around multiple positions throughout the game, with Klopp citing that the Brazilian’s background as a defender and a midfielder helped him make the decision.
The boss also explained how Firmino’s decision to get involved in the counter-attack in the dying minutes nearly gave him a heart-attack!
“It wasn’t the perfect solution,” Klopp told the Echo. “It was a bit of a surprise of course but we had to react pretty quick and Bobby was a centre-half when he started playing, I remembered that at least, but of course it’s difficult.
“In the moment when he was involved in the counter-attack I thought ‘My God’ but that’s what happens with a lack of oxygen, you do things you wouldn’t normally do! But that’s his desire and I loved that.
“We could have done a few things, bringing in Alberto (Moreno) or Rafa immediately, but we had to defend Zaha with two or three players anyway and Bobby is a very smart player.
“He’s always involved in pretty much everything and in that moment I had to shout ‘You are now right-back’.
“Before that, when Fabinho left the pitch, he was in a 4-5-1 half-left midfield so we had to try a bit of magic. In the end we defended with big heart and not with the best organisation.”
Firmino has the versatility and talent to play a number of positions, but we want him back in attacking midfield next time out!
Our best performances this term have come with the 27-year-old as a roaming, pressing no.10, just behind Mo Salah – with Sadio Mane on the left and Xherdan Shaqiri on the right.
The squad is flying out to Dubai for some warm weather training and hopefully will return to England in a week’s time feeling refreshed.
By the Leicester clash, we want Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez fully fit, or very close to it!