5 Nov 2016

'Liverpool's Downfall': Manc legend insists 'adequate' €17m LFC star is Klopp's 'main problem'. Agree?

Manchester United legend Paul Parker claims that makeshift left-back James Milner is a weak link for Liverpool.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo this week, Parker - who won 2 League titles with Man Utd - observed:

"Liverpool's downfall is in defence, with left-back the main problem. As good as James Milner has been, his inclusion means they lack balance in attack and can’t utilise the space in wide areas".

Parker's view mirrors that of Reds legend Steve Nicol, who also insists that Milner is a weak link:

“Milner has been adequate. Eventually, he’s going to get found out against a wide man with pace and trickery. He hasn’t come up against anybody like that yet.”

Due to suspect positioning, Milner was (partially) at fault for a couple of goals earlier this season, but he's been solid ever since, and his good form has coincided with Liverpool's great run in the Premier League.

Parker's contention that Liverpool 'lack balance' in attack is arguably a moot point. The Reds have more than enough incisive attacking options to compensate, and as a left-back, Milner's primary role is to defend, not attack. In my view, the tradeoff is acceptable, and 7 wins in 10 games with Milner at left-back supports that.

Nicol may turn out to be right, though. Bar Willian for Chelsea (who's more industry than guile) Milner hasn't yet come up against a specialist, top-class wide player, and it'll be interesting to see how he responds against better attackers over the next few months.

* Milner: €17m-rated (CIES Football Observatory)



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