Last night Liverpool played Tranmere in what really seemed like 2 separate 45 minute games as Jurgen Klopp actually used 22 players. 5 playing their 1st game for the 1st team.
Rather interestingly Mario Balotelli was not selected. He has recently come back from a poor loan spell at AC Milan, where he only achieved 1 goal. His report card must surely be a D- must try harder.
Klopp has since spent a full week with his squad, giving everyone the opportunity to impress. Despite selecting 22 players Balotelli was not named – surely there is no doubt that he has no future at Anfield.
I hope Balotelli understands that – 22 players, 5 playing 1st game and still not selected.
The message could not have been any clearer – he needs his agent to find him another club.
Just recently there has even been talk of Liverpool cancelling his contract.
A new star is born
Danny Ings was selected as Captain for the 2nd half and rewarded Klopp with a man of the match performance. Including a sublime goal. If Balotelli was watching he would have had green eyes. Ings demonstrating how ‘Klopp like’ his style of play actually is.
Last night’s goal was his 1st since the Merseyside Derby at Goodison Park, the game which resulted in Brendan Rodgers being sacked.
His hustle and bustle and constant harassing their defenders was as welcome as ever but so too was his threat, showing he is a perfect fit in a Jurgen Klopp team.
His link up play with youngster Trent Alexander-Arnold was good. A narrow miss followed by more slick movement, collecting a reverse pass which resulted in a swift and incredibly direct finish. You could sense the occasion. Taking the moment and making it count.
Warrior to fight the battle
Months of recovering from his ACL injury, then additional training to ensure he played at the end of last season. He knows Klopp is looking for additional warriors to fight his battle on the pitch during the forthcoming season, so he had to strike when the iron was hot.
He said later: “It’s that moment when everything else goes out of your head when you are scoring goals whether it be in a friendly or a cup final, it’s all still the same to me.
I’ve missed it like crazy. I can’t explain how much I’ve missed it but as I’ve said it’s a big relief to be back with the lads and scoring goals.”
The thing to take from it all is that he’s only 23 years old, yes 23!
Mario, this is how you take your chances. The season has started – Liverpool are up and running.
With Klopp admitting he has to trim his large squad of 38 down, whilst still recruiting – expect a lot going the other way.