LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 9, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jurgen Klopp explains substitution that saw Jordan Henderson as a winger

Liverpool ended their shambolic 3-2 defeat to Arsenal with Jordan Henderson on the wing, with Jurgen Klopp explaining his confusing late substitution.

There were flashes of quality throughout the Reds’ trip to the Emirates, particularly from Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Thiago, but overall, it was another frustration evening.

Bukayo Saka’s winner from the penalty spot may have been contentious, but it is difficult to argue that Liverpool deserved to win given their performance.

It was a worrying game for supporters, with a confused approach on and off the pitch, and Klopp withdrew both Diogo Jota and Mohamed Salah as his side chased the game.

Liverpool ended with Henderson on the right wing and Harvey Elliott on the left, with the 4-4-2 system retained despite the personnel.

In his post-match press conference, Klopp was asked about his decision to bring Salah off, and gave an insight into why he felt his captain could fill in for the No. 11.

“We had to defend again on a high level. [So] we tried to put Hendo on that side there,” he said.

“Mo did unbelievable, a lot, really big, big workload. He put in a real shift. And that, sometimes, is very intense.

“That’s why we thought we could do it with Hendo.

“We still wanted to win, even when we took a striker off.”

These are worrying times for Liverpool fans, with the side seemingly devoid of ideas, and there appears little cohesion in tactical decisions either.

The Reds ended the game with Fabio Carvalho as an unused substitute, while Henderson and Thiago were required to play the full 90 minutes despite Fabinho also being brought on.

It points to an overreliance on particular players regardless of their suitability, and the lack of structure in the closing stages undoubtedly led to the collapse.

Klopp was right to point out that the penalty call was “soft,” but he was also correct in there being “no system” in place as Liverpool struggled to deal with the pressure in their area in the events leading up to the spot-kick.

There are no doubt solutions within the current squad, but Henderson being asked to fill in as a winger is not one of them.