Video courtesy of @MrBoywunder
Although he didn’t find out that he was going to be playing until Friday afternoon, Jordon Ibe looked more than prepared for the cauldron that is Goodison Park as the youngster put in a Man of the Match performance during the stalemate with Everton on Saturday. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers is developing a reputation for giving youngsters a shot in high profile fixtures and the Northern Irishman was happy to wax lyrical on the decision making process behind that in the build-up to Tuesday’s meeting with Tottenham Hotspur.
“Maybe I have too much belief in young players, but I see enough on day to day to know the character of the player” said the Northern Irishman. “I think there is just part of me that thinks you never know until you throw in a young player and it doesn’t matter what the game is. If you believe in them enough and they have the tactical awareness of the game and collectively they know the team is with them, it can really push them on in their development.”
Ibe was recalled early from his successful loan spell at Championship side Derby County last month which prompted questions of whether or not the Liverpool wingers development would be affected due to a lack of game time — which, of course, was the reason he was loaned out in the first place. While it remains to be seen just how often he’ll be utilized, the 19-year old was electric throughout the meeting with the Toffees and came very close to opening the scoring with a spectacular curling effort midway through the first half that he was unlucky to see cannon off the post.
“This is a real, real springboard for Jordon Ibe. He has always showed flashes and come on in games and you have wondered ‘can he do it? So to come to Goodison and play like he did, showing that confidence and temperament was outstanding, that will really help his development and push him on” continued the Reds boss. “I would have no qualms playing Jordon now and there is no greater pressure than a Goodison game with that intensity and he was obviously man of the match. You have to look at that performance. He was playing a lot at Derby and we have a lot of games so I have to nurture the talent as well, but to perform like that in a big game was great and it gives me great confidence now to see him as part of the squad.”