Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and his team have just discovered a solution to a near-impossible challenge.
Jurgen Klopp planned to rotate his team over the weekend, with minutes going to Ibrahima Konate and Kostas Tsimikas in order to rest Joel Matip and Andy Robertson.
Everything was planned hours before kickoff, but Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was forced to make a late change when Trent Alexander-Arnold reported feeling ill in the days leading up to the match.
Despite his defensive duty, the Scouse full-back is crucial to the Reds’ success; the system allows him to act as the team’s primary playmaker.
Alexander-importance Arnold’s may be quantified by the fact that no Premier League player has made more critical passes for his teammates than the 19 he has made this season, with a vital pass defined as one that leads directly to a shot.
In addition to his contribution on opportunity generation, the academy graduate is crucial to how Liverpool moves the ball from point A to point B, currently ranking seventh in the league for progressive passes while playing fewer minutes than those ahead of him.
It’s nearly impossible to replace Alexander-Arnold, but that’s exactly what James Milner did on Saturday.
Milner, at 35, has turned into a jack of all crafts at Anfield, demonstrating his ability to adapt and provide a reliable option when needed.
“That’s why I’ve come. If anything needs to be done, do what you can,” Milner remarked after helping Liverpool to a 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace, and what a performance it was.
Not only did the Liverpool vice-captain keep Wilfried Zaha, who was his direct opponent on the day, from interfering with Patrick Vieira’s assault, but he also provided Alexander-Arnold with benefits on the ball.
His possession acts weren’t quite as complex as Alexander- Arnold’s, but he was still a plus.
Milner had an amazing total of 11 progressive passes against the Eagles, which was the most on the field, ahead of Thiago Alcantara, who was the only other player to complete more than five, as shown above.
Milner helped the Reds gain more progressive distance than any other player; he pushed the team forward. “The summary has come to an end.”