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Jurgen Klopp disagrees with Liverpool fans on Curtis Jones’ new role

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Curtis Jones took up a new role in Liverpool’s midfield as he made his 50th appearance against Norwich, but Jurgen Klopp disagreed with fans about how effective it was.

At 20, Jones has already brought up a half-century of outings for his boyhood club, with Klopp’s assistant manager, Pepijn Lijnders, hailing him ahead of kickoff on Tuesday night.

“Curtis is not a young player anymore, Curtis is a full member of the first team,” Lijnders told reporters.

“That’s really important. With that comes different responsibilities.”

None of Lijnders, Klopp or Jones expected him to take up the responsibility he did at Carrow Road, however, with James Milner pencilled in to start as the No. 6.

But with the veteran suffering with a cold, Liverpool’s No. 17 shifted back from his more advanced role, filling in for Fabinho while Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain took up duties further forward.

Throughout the first 45 minutes, decided by Takumi Minamino‘s fourth-minute opener, Jones caught the eye with his confidence and quality on the ball.

Having already performed as a No. 8 and on the left flank this season, fans praised the young Scouser for his efforts as they took to social media both during and after the 3-0 win:


The consensus was that Jones had impressed as the deep-lying midfielder, before pushing slightly forward as Tyler Morton replaced Keita at the break and Minamino swapped with Oxlade-Chamberlain.

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Curtis Jones during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

However, in his post-match interview with LFCTV, Klopp highlighted the last-minute call for Jones to fill in for the ailing Milner as a mistake.

“It’s just not a natural position for him, but we only got the information that Milly would not be ready this morning, so there was no time to train really,” he said.

“We scored the goal, started well in the game, but then obviously the organisation did not work that well anymore.

“But second half, then. Naby had to go off, [we] brought Tyler [on], [it was] more natural for him in that position – you could see that immediately.

“We could control the situations better, we passed simpler and quicker, scored the second goal then controlled the game completely.”

NORWICH, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 21, 2021: Liverpool's Tyler Morton during the Football League Cup 3rd Round match between Norwich City FC and Liverpool FC at Carrow Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Speaking to Sky Sports, Klopp added that Morton “gave us the opportunity to connect again, because he just played simple, passed the ball in the right spaces, defended in the right spaces.”

The suggestion, then, is that Jones is too adventurous, or risky, a midfielder to fulfil the No. 6 role without more training – which, given the emergence of Morton, seems unlikely.

Klopp disagreeing with supporters on the 20-year-old’s performance in the position is interesting, as it shows the workings behind a top-level manager, who sees beyond that which the spectator sees.

This is no negative, of course, with Jones able to ply his trade as a more progressive midfielder, and hopefully more regular opportunities come after his 50th game.

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