Peter talks to FoL writer and columnist Caislin Boyle in the latest Q&A interview.
What was your thoughts on the performance against West Ham Caislin?
I thought we were magnificent. What is starting to become apparent is that we can play a number of midfield options and the front 3 will do the business so long as they get the service. There were slight concerns that we wouldn’t start aggressively as we’ve had a long rest, but those were allayed very quickly by how intense we were. West Ham were in the game in the first half – their display in that period wasn’t as typically passive as David Moyes’ tend to be at Anfield, but once we got the first goal there was little doubt about the result. We were confident, bustling and scintillating to watch at times – it was fantastic.
Was you surprised to see Joel Matip reinstated to the back 4 on Saturday?
Yes I was. Klopp has recently said that rotation is now done for the season as we rotated before Christmas. However, this felt like a rotation inclusion because Lovren and Van Dijk look like the best partnership for now. Lovren is currently playing better than Matip, so I can only think it’s to try and keep Lovren fresh. However, we now have a decent gap until the next game against Newcastle so it felt a bit reductive. The three games of Newcastle, Porto and Man United come in quick succession so it’ll be interesting to see who features then.
A lot of players played very well but who was the standout player in this fixture for you?
Andy Robertson. He’s quickly becoming my favourite player & I thought he was immense here. His link up play with Mane, his incessant engine and his assist for Sadio capped an impressive performance. Honourable mentions for the double barrels: Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexander-Arnold. The front three obviously all scored but I want to shine a light on the other players!
What are your thoughts on Firmino’s no look finishes ?
I love them. Firstly, they’re audacious and totally in keeping with how mad Bobby’s personality seems to be. They make the game fun. Also, crucially, he doesn’t miss them when he attempts them as he only does it when it’s a foregone conclusion that he’s going to score. I think that’s important.
Would you give James Milner a new contract when this one is up?
Yes absolutely. If you look at players who are a positive influence off the pitch AND who can do a job on it, Milner is your man. He is limited, and obviously his age is a factor. However, his supreme fitness levels and his game intelligence means that he is a managers dream insofar as he can follow instructions to the letter. I think he possesses a level head that is a valuable quality in this squad. Such is his importance that I think he would start a Champions League final.
Can you see Klopp making many changes for the Newcastle game?
No, I don’t think so. In fact, I think he’ll play the same 11 except for swapping Lovren and Matip. Henderson will continue to be rested I think, and the remainder of the 11 will stay the same. That may seem harsh on Joe Gomez, but Trent is playing really well.
What is your score prediction v Newcastle and why please?
3-1 to Liverpool. It’ll be another home win for the Reds, but I think Newcastle will score. As we showed against West Ham, any attacking intent will result in the opposition getting chances, so I think Newcastle will score one (possibly through Jonjo Shelvey). Goal scorers for us will be Salah, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mane. I think Bobby will draw an increasingly rare blank.