Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


'Liverpool midfield is past its prime' - Miguel Delaney

Liverpool need new blood in midfield, because James Milner and Jordan Henderson are clearly past their best.

Journalist Miguel Delaney joined Will O'Callaghan on The Football Show to discuss Liverpool's midfield.

Liverpool lost to Manchester United on Monday night.

It was a shock result, but it was also a deserved result. Manchester United were the better team. They played Liverpool off the park for long segments of the game, not letting Jurgen Klopp's side find any space in their half while hitting them on the counter.

Virgil Van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold defended terribly. Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz offered nothing in attack.

But to anyone watching the game, Liverpool had one area of major, major concern and that was in midfield. James Milner and Jordan Henderson conceded space and time to Manchester United's midfielders all game.

There was no creativity on the ball for Liverpool. There was no energy off the ball. Neither Henderson nor Milner penetrated the United box or defended their own. While Milner made a point to be vocal, Henderson unusually had no imprint on the game.

"It was one of those games," Delaney said.

"Henderson has looked past his best for some time. He's still obviously a very, very useful option. Milner...this is inevitable given his age, he's so far past his best he can't really see it anymore. Which is a bit harsh, but at this point Milner remains a useful squad option.

"Someone to fill in, but not someone you want to be putting in midfield at this stage of his career."

Milner plays a lot for Liverpool. He plays too much for Liverpool. But more often than not he comes off the bench or only starts because of injuries, which is what makes this game so peculiar. Fabinho lost his place so Milner and Henderson could start together with Harvey Elliott.

As far as we know, Fabinho was fully healthy.

"But that also makes it all the more surprising then because the one Liverpool midfielder available who you could say is in his prime, Fabinho, was left on the bench. Now, one of the rationales there apparently is Klopp is worried about how he's been getting caught on the counter in recent games.

"But even then, compared to what they had, it was so pedestrian.

"It certainly wasn't the Liverpool midfield as we've come to associate them."

Fabio Carvalho's cameo off the bench and Harvey Elliott's performance suggest Liverpool should start a new trio in midfield. Fabinho sitting, with Elliott and Carvalho breaking forward will change the identity of the team for the better.

Agents and teams take advantage of Manchester United - Andy Mitten


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Fabinho James Milner Jordan Henderson Jude Bellingham Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Manchester United