Jurgen Klopp has today explained the impact Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain made off the bench v West Ham.
The Englishman replaced Naby Keita just after the hour mark and injected physicality, aggression and an urgency into our midfield.
Keita didn’t have his best night and it’s led many to believe Ox has climbed above him in the pecking order.
For Klopp though, it’s not a case of players competing against each other but which attributes better suit different situations.
“They don’t compete against each other. They offer different things. Naby can play better obviously,” he said in the pre-match Watford presser.
“Oxlade came on, with his natural skill, he added direction, speed. He’s a different player.
“But in different situations you need different players – and they all are exceptional.
“Until the change, we were too fixed in positions. It wasn’t flexible enough. We were not unpredictable enough. We were too easy to defend!”
You can’t argue with a word Klopp says, in truth.
Keita is better when we need to be patient. When we’re looking to find intricate space between defenders and when our aim is to dominate possession.
Ox thrives when a game is a little more stretched and he can drive towards the back-four at speed.
The fact we have the option of either is key, of course. And whoever gets the nod on Saturday at Vicarage Road, has our full support.