The last thing Liverpool needed to hear at the end of the international week was that Adam Lallana has picked up an injury which could be a decisive factor in their challenge for the top four. If he does miss a whole month then it could be just as significant as the absence of Sadio Mane during the Africa Cup of Nations - which effectively ended their title challengr.
The instinct will be to lash out and find someone responsible, but I don't think England can be blamed. If Lallana is really feeling an injury then at the end of the day it is down to him to let the medical staff know. But he wants to play for his country. He doesn’t want to come out and say he is injured as he wants to play as many minutes as possible on the international stage.
Who wouldn’t want to start away to Germany in Dortmund? And then it’s a home qualifier at Wembley against Lithuania. Of course he is going to want to play. Club managers tend to get annoyed when the lose a player in such circumstances, but sometimes injuries just happen.
Footage has emerged of Lallana appearing to clutch his thigh as he walks back in for half-time against Lithuania but how many players walk into the dressing room feeling something? It happens all the time. Sometimes it’s tiredness, sometimes it’s even done unconsciously. It doesn’t mean England made a mistake by putting him out for the second half.
If Jurgen Klopp would have had a chance to represent Germany during his playing career, I’m sure he would have jumped at the chance. And even in his previous role as Dortmund manager, he wouldn’t have moaned at the German federation if he lost a player in such circumstances as the whole German league is engineered to benefit the national side.
In Germany, the league is structured to help the international set-up while in England we have two separate bodies, in the Premier League and FA Cup, who have competing aims and struggle to find common ground. That’s what allows club v country rows to fester: that fundamental split.
In truth, the fact England used Lallana from the start of both games is in fact testament to the work Klopp has done with the player. Lallana has been reinvented at Liverpool and England are getting the benefit.
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: Lallana injury could be fatal for Liverpool - but Klopp can't complain