James Milner insisted that he always feels prepared to step into a late change of role, following his Liverpool performance at right-back against Crystal Palace.
The 35-year-old stepped in on Saturday for Trent Alexander-Arnold, who missed out through illness. However, he put in a solid shift, largely keeping Wilfried Zaha at bay. What’s more, he contributed in attack.
Alexander-Arnold would have wanted to play after a top performance in midweek against AC Milan.
However, Milner – who has also played at left-back in his time with Liverpool – was happy to step in. Nevertheless, he does not have the best record at defending Zaha.
Milner has received two red cards in battles with the Ivory Coast international for the Reds. As such, he teased Alexander-Arnold about missing out at Anfield, but also revealed how the short timeline for the late change.
“Trent’s definitely going to get some ribbing for that!” Milner joked to Liverpool’s official website.
“A bit of Zaha-itis or something like that! It was probably three, two-and-a-half hours before the game really.
“But that’s what we’re prepared for and the training is done so anyone is ready at any time. That’s my job when I’m needed.”
Klopp said of England international Alexander-Arnold: “Trent woke up this morning, felt unwell, we just had to send him home.
“It’s all fine, it’s not Covid. We tested everything, but he didn’t feel well anyway.”
Milner turns 36 in January, but has shown no signs of slowing down in what is his 20th season as a Premier League player.
Milner earns high Liverpool praise
Speaking on Match of the Day, Jermaine Jenas lauded the Englishman for his latest performance.
“It’s remarkable, testament to the way he looks after himself that he can just come in these types of games and perform the way he does,” the pundit said.
“Zaha was brilliant last week against Spurs. He gave Emerson Royal an absolutely torrid time. He didn’t get a kick today against James Milner.”
Liverpool return to action on Tuesday, facing Norwich at Carrow Road in Carabao Cup action.
The Reds beat the Canaries 3-0 away from home in August in their first Premier League game of the season.