Saturday 10 December 2016

“Jurgen Klopp has called me a machine in the past" - Nathaniel Clyne

Tom Rooney

Published 05/10/2016 | 20:36

Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in action with Timi Elsnik. Photo: Getty
Liverpool's Nathaniel Clyne in action with Timi Elsnik. Photo: Getty

Amid a maelstrom of wavering form, calamity and injury, Nathaniel Clyne has remained the sole source of stability in Liverpool’s defence in recent times and, as such, he’s played ever single minute this term

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With a huge portion of his teammates away on international duty over the next couple of weeks, a slight knee injury has afforded Nathaniel Clyne some well deserved R & R.

The right back will be a spectator as interim England boss Gareth Southgate seeks to turn the focus away from his predecessor Sam Allardyce, with expected victories over Malta and Slovenia.

He can also reflect on Liverpool’s stunning start to season, in which they’ve won seven of their opening nine games, including their previous four league encounters.

They are now just a single goal  behind second place Spurs, with their next game being a Monday night showdown with a hitherto lukewarm Manchester United.

Considering his near omnipresence in the year since Jurgen Klopp took over from Brendan Rodgers, the German coach, Clyne revealed, has bestowed him with a fitting moniker.

Indeed, the former Southampton man has completed 75 pc of his Premier League tackles since arriving from St Mary's.

“The manager has called me a machine in the past,” he told the Match of the Day magazine.

“I’m not entirely sure why, it’s probably because I play in loads of games and rarely get injured or come off with knocks. All I try and do is my best for the team and try not to complain about anything.”

While Liverpool top the table, alongside Manchester City, for goals scored (18), they have still been unable to keep any of their opponents scoreless.

Their is no doubt that new recruits such as Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan have aided in partially fortifying the Liverpool rear guard, but it irks Clyne that they are thus far without a clean sheet.

“It’s a long way to go but we’ve done really well, we’re just going to focus on the next game."

“We haven’t had a clean sheet yet so as a defender, I’m a bit disappointed. I want to get clean sheets, but we need to work harder in training on our defending.”

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