A look at the Fringe

Assesong the Role to play for Ragnar Klavan this season.

There have always been scapegoats at Liverpool. My old man would always roll his eyes at the groans from The Kop whenever Jimmy Melia would suffer a minor indiscretion on the pitch. So it has been in the modern era. The fans often need that one focal point of anger and blame.

Smicer could do no right. Then it was Garcia until Juventus, then Lucas etc etc. It’s a tiresome thing to tolerate but that’s football. The latest man to suffer this fate is Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan.

The bit part player has often bore the brunt of intense criticism in his Liverpool career. He fits the bill for a scapegoat to be honest, but to be fair he’s seldom done too much wrong in his red’s career.

With new recruits unlikely to arrive now, with less than a week of the transfer window remaining, Klavan could have a big role to play.

Mane Scoring…all around us…

It’s one of the best Merseyside Derby memories in recent years for Red’s fans. Into extra time at Goodison, Sturridge on against a stubborn Everton backline. A daisy cutter from the forward, rolling back of the inside of the post with the keeper beaten, Mane pouncing. Flares, fights, scenes.

Three points in the derby is always a joy for Red’s fans, but that late Mane winner actually obscured an interesting sub plot in that midwinter night.

Stand in centre half Ragnar Klavan had arguably put in a man of the match display for Liverpool that day. The Estonian was immense. Winning headers, reading the game beautifully, timing tackles to crisp perfection, Klavan was excellent.

Yes it’s a one off game and any player can do well in a handful of matches, however Klavan has been a fairly solid squad player for Liverpool during his time at Anfield. He’s rarely looked flustered or out of his depth and for a third or forth choice he’s not a bad option at all. That game at Goodison proved there was a good defender in our number 17.

Games to play

Matip and Gomez will need to be eased through the campaign. Lovren will have World Cup fatigue and we simply cannot play Van Dijk every week. Klavan will be a crucial stand in.

He’s by no means a world beater and his lack of pace is an issue, but one crucial fact remains; Klopp and his team trust in him. He’s rarely made too many howlers and cuts a professional senior squad player. You won’t win anything with the likes of Klavan playing fifty games a season but he’s a perfect squad player and a solid servant to the club.

Such things can be easily overlooked. But as Rafa used to say, it’s all about the small details. Klavan could be a key detail indeed, despite the boo boys.

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