“He has to judge” – Jurgen Klopp explains Andy Robertson’s new role

With Trent Alexander-Arnold operating in a more advanced role, Jurgen Klopp offered some insight into how the new shape is impacting Andy Robertson‘s responsibilities.

Liverpool were 3-2 winners over Nottingham Forest at Anfield on Saturday and Alexander-Arnold’s position was once again a topic of discussion among supporters.

The 24-year-old delivered another strong case for man of the match as a hybrid between right-back and defensive midfield, where he was afforded more freedom and able to express himself creatively.

The system change has shifted more of the defensive duties over to the left-hand side, with Andy Robertson tasked with using tactical astuteness to determine his positions on the pitch at any given moment.

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Monday, April 17, 2023: Leeds United's Jack Harrison (C)is challenged by Liverpool's Andy Robertson during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After the win at Anfield, the manager praised both full-backs for their performances and discussed Robertson’s new role within the set-up.

“We cannot have one full-back in the centre of the field and the other one constantly high up on the left side. That’s difficult,” Klopp explained in his post-match press conference.

“In the first moment of the build-up, yes, his positioning has changed slightly. But [Robertson’s] obviously a very experienced player, a very smart player and he knows when we need him there.”

While the majority of the tactical focus is currently being placed on Alexander-Arnold, Klopp provided interesting insight into the knock-on effect the change has had on the rest of the back line.

In possession, Alexander-Arnold has slotted alongside Fabinho as he has looked to do the bulk of his creative work from the middle of the park.

The move has seen him spend plenty of time on the ball, but has also given the other three defenders on the field more ground to cover when possession gets turned over.

Robertson has 62 Liverpool assists to his name and is an effective attacking outlet in his own right, but the tweak has meant that he has to consider when to commit himself offensively more carefully.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, April 22, 2023: Liverpool's Andy Robertson prepares tp take a throw-in during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Nottingham Forest FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Klopp continued: “Robbo has to judge the situations when he can be involved, like, I don’t know which goal number at Leeds, but when Diogo passes the ball and then he overlaps and passes the ball to Cody, Mo, goal. These situations are still there.”

The tactical change has given fans plenty to talk about and has certainly enabled Alexander-Arnold to flourish.

He has grabbed four assists in his past three outings alone since switching positions, having managed just three in the entirety of the season prior to that.

It has taken adjustment from a number of key players, but the results appear to suggest that it is taking Liverpool in the right direction so far.