It was a dismal Liverpool performance against Leicester City, and some fans have had enough of one of Jurgen Klopp’s decisions.
Liverpool have needed a left back for some time but after moves for the likes of Jonas Hector broke down, James Milner has been shoehorned into the left back position. It worked for a while, but after another poor performance against Leicester City, it seems teams are targeting his lack of pace and it is leaving Jurgen Klopp’s side heavily exposed at the back.
The only natural left back in the Liverpool squad currently is Alberto Moreno, and he is very poor at defending, so much so that Milner replaced him in the first place. It speaks volumes that Milner has kept his place at left back after a series of underwhelming performances.
But Milner’s performance against Leicester was particularly poor. He could’ve done more to prevent two of the three goals scored by the home side – and he was ineffective offensively as well. Many Liverpool fans would like to see Milner moved into midfield. He is a good central midfielder and players like Emre Can are struggling to perform in that position. A central position plays to Milner’s strengths, on the face of it he is no way suited to a full back role. The only benefit of him being there is his stamina, which allows for him to get up and down the pitch – surely this would be better utilised in central midfield though?
Here’s some reaction to Milner’s performance against Leicester City on Monday night.
If a manager thinks that loaning Sakho to play Lucas as CB, Hendo as DM & Milner as LB is the way forward, then questioning is 100% merited.
— Simeon (@simeonftbl) February 27, 2017
Carragher: "Sometimes as a #LFC fan when things go well you kid yourself at things. Milner isn't a left back, Lucas isn't a centre back."
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) February 28, 2017
He needs to spend some money on bodies & fast. Lucas CB, Milner LB, AL & GW at CM. RF #9. that's half the team 'doing a job' out of position
— James (@arghappy) February 28, 2017
It's almost like Milner's not a LB, and Moreno isn't a terrible footballer
— referee lizard boy (@__griffin_) February 27, 2017
Firmino needs to be dropped. Origi deserves a run in team now. Milner into midfield and moreno to LB
— John Paul Walsh ? (@jpwred316) February 27, 2017
If I'm Jurgen Klopp, I'd move Milner back to CM and bring Moreno back to LB. He was crucial their last season when hendo was out #lfc
— Bobby ?? (@Forza_Firmino) February 28, 2017
I think Milner still has a part to play in the Liverpool squad, he’s decent cover at left back and also a senior presence that adds a calmness to the midfield when he plays there.
Liverpool certainly need to sign a new left back, but for now they need to find an internal solution. Milner is definitely not the best internal solution, at least not for certain games. Klopp must find the solution.
Against Arsenal it will be intriguing to see how Liverpool line up. Arsene Wenger isn’t one for lining his team up to exploit the weaknesses of others, but surely looking at Milner in recent weeks, Wenger would try and target that. Theo Walcott is the obvious pacey candidate to cause him problems and if Theo starts, surely Klopp will favour the quick Moreno. Putting Milner up against Walcott could have catastrophic consequences.