It would be fair to say that not a single Liverpool player came away from Sunday’s defeat to Fulham in a positive light.
The Reds turned in an awful performance, falling to an all-time low of six consecutive defeats at Anfield for the first time in their history.
There were a handful of truly woeful performances from the home side, with the usually reliable James Milner firmly amongst them.
Starting his first Premier League game in over a month, the former England man was expected to be an experienced and calming presence in the middle of the park for Liverpool and for Jurgen Klopp.
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However, he was quite the opposite, habitually arriving late into tackles and accumulating three fouls throughout the 90 minutes – more than any other player, according to WhoScored.
This was a constant source of frustration for the reigning Premier League champions as it allowed Fulham to reset and regain their defensive shape, a huge reason as to why they were able to somewhat comfortably hold out for the second period.
Deployed alongside Georginio Wijnaldum and Naby Keita, it also wasn’t the best afternoon for Milner from an attacking standpoint either.
The former Manchester City man had only one shot, that effort flying off target, whilst also contributing zero key passes or dribbles.
For a player so experienced, the 35-year-old was also ponderous on the ball, taking an age to release it. He was dispossessed once, whilst also having two unsuccessful touches. Only Xherdan Shaqiri conceded possession more frequently in the entire Liverpool team and he played the entire game whereas Milner was substituted with 15 minutes of the clash remaining, rightly so too.
Considering the Reds’ current plight, it seemed a smart move from Klopp to turn to more experience in midfield. However, it was a gamble that certainly did not pay off with Milner seemingly causing more damage to his team than he was worth.
He was late into tackles and late to play passes. Liverpool might have been better off if he was late for the team bus…