After dispatching Southampton 3-0 yesterday, Liverpool have a two-week gap between now and their next match with Manchester United. While many players will be going off to play for their countries over the mini-international break in the lead in to this summers World Cup in Brazil, Jon Flanagan won’t be among them — something that surprises Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
“I couldn’t believe he wasn’t even in the U21s!” said the Northern Irishman of young Flanagan in the wake of the Reds first win at St. Mary’s in eleven years. “I thought he might have been in with a chance of the full national team because he’s played in big games since he came into the team and has been outstanding – but I was equally as surprised he wasn’t in the U21s.”
The fullback, who retained his place on the right-flank and pushed experienced international Glen Johnson once again out to the left, claimed his 15th appearance for the Reds first team in yesterday’s win. Although he looked a touch shaky at times as the Saint’s overloaded the wings, the 21-year old put in another solid shift with England boss Roy Hodgson watching on from the stands.
“He is a young player and still has a way to go. He’s improving all the time – you can see home and away he’s playing at a really high level” continued Rodgers. “He’ll just continue to improve and develop and I’m sure he will get in there at some stage.”
You’d think so, wouldn’t you? But with dunderheads like Hodgson and Gareth Southgate in charge of the England set-up, you never know, do you?