Jurgen Klopp explained the delicate juggling act he had to perform in resting certain Liverpool stars during the course of the Reds’ resounding 3-0 victory over Arsenal last night, as reported by the Echo.
The 53-year-old surprised many with his decision to bench Diogo Jota, despite the Portuguese’s brilliant form for club and country, opting instead for Bobby Firmino up top.
“We had to make decisions. Diogo played a little bit too much for Portugal for my taste,” the German said. “He was injured for a long time, and then he had to play immediately because Bobby was injured, and played too much for us already.
“Then he went to Portugal, and the last two games were really tense, and he felt it a little bit.
“The same with Gini, played all three games for Holland. Robbo looks like he plays all the time for Scotland, every second, so we had to make these kind of decisions.
“Some didn’t start, some didn’t finish the game. But in general tonight we had the choice, and that’s very important.”
We don’t envy the task managers have in having to manage the fitness of players following the international break, though fortunately events went in our favour against Wolves as Jota’s substitution helped us find the goals we needed to put the tie to bed.
It’s a less than ideal situation that most of our starters played the full 90 with only three days remaining until our upcoming tie with Real Madrid in the Champions League.
That being said, Zinedine Zidane will face a similar conundrum prior to the second-leg at Anfield, as the Spanish outfit prepares for a pivotal El Classico clash, whilst we come up against Dean Smith’s Aston Villa.