Jurgen Klopp has admitted that Andy Robertson’s position has shifted due to Trent Alexander-Arnold’s move to the center
Trent returned to his full-back/midfield hybrid role against Nottingham Forest today, assisting once more in the 3-2 victory. However, in his post-match press conference, Klopp stated that the change in role for the right-back has had an impact on Robertson.
“We changed the role [of Robertson] slightly, that’s clear,” the manager admitted. “We can’t have one full-back in the middle and another constantly high on the left side.” That’s a challenge. Robbo must assess the situations in which he may be involved.
“These situations remain, but in the early stages of the build-up, yes, his role and positioning have changed slightly.” But he’s obviously a very experienced and intelligent player who knows when we need him.
“The boys must learn to read these situations correctly and act appropriately.”
Trent’s freedom comes at a cost for Robbo.
When Liverpool has possession, Alexander-Arnold’s shift to midfield has clearly been a resounding success. It’s still early, but he’s already contributed four assists in three games.
However, there is another side to this. If the Reds lose the ball and are countered on, as they did several times in both games, they are a man down at the back.
As a result, the onus is squarely on Robertson to ensure that if that occurs, he is not also caught up the field.
That may be difficult for a naturally attacking player like Scotland’s captain to adjust to. Throughout his Liverpool career, he has had free reign to attack whenever he wants. But, with the shackles now partially on, he’ll have to pick and choose his moments.
That didn’t stop Robbo today. Even though it came from a set piece, he still managed to assist Diogo Jota at Anfield. His seventh Premier League goal of the season.
In their annual battles, the 29-year-old is still one ahead of Trent. However, with his younger teammate now filling his shoes, Robbo may have to admit defeat soon. After all, someone has to stay behind.