Why Liverpool should bin Jon Flanagan

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After nearly two seasons out with injury, Jon Flanagan made a much awaited comeback from his injury in February. But, things haven’t exactly gone to plan for the young Scouser.

Expectations were no doubt high from Flanagan, given what he had achieved before he got injured at the end of the 2013-2014 season. In a squad that looked very strong, the left back position was the one that needed able hands to be in, and Flanagan stepped in wonderfully, relegating the more experienced José Enrique and Aly Cissokho to the fringes.

Why Liverpool Should Bin Jon Flanagan

But as is logically sound, nearly 22 months on the sidelines have had its toll on Flanagan. He was never the fastest on the pitch, but made up for that lack of pace with incredible grit and tenacity. Now, the tenacity is still there – as Raheem Sterling will vouch for, but there is no doubt that he has gotten slower than he originally was.

In the last few games of the Premier League, with Jurgen Klopp deciding to rest Nathaniel Clyne, it was a chance for Flanagan to prove his worth. Instead, it was a series of underwhelming performances. He seemed afraid to go into tackles and kept backing away from the wingers. Added to that, his passing was utterly woeful, and he added little in terms of being an attacking outlet.

The kind of player that Flanagan is, he would always take the more aggressive route and try and snap in at the attacker before he is in full flight. But that approach will always have its own negatives. There is no doubt that he will get the tackles wrong on occasion, and with the wingers in the Premier League getting faster and more skillful by the day, there is little chance that Flanagan would be able to recover, like say, an Alberto Moreno, and get a last-ditch tackle in.

Having said that, it was this very same approach that brought Flanagan the success he had two seasons ago. But again, that was a season in which we conceded 50+ goals, and the cracks were wonderfully hidden by Luis Suarez and co.

One argument that has been doing the rounds in favour of Flanagan is the fact that he is Scouse. At Liverpool, being Scouse is only an added advantage, not a criterion to be in the first team. A Steven Gerrard or a Robbie Fowler or a Jamie Carragher made the first team because they matched a certain expected level of performance, not because they were from the surrounding areas or added a local touch to the squad. You can read a more positive article on this very website from my colleague Neil Bason if you’re more inclined to keep Flanagan.

In the latter stages of the season, it sometimes seemed as though Klopp trusted Connor Randall more than Flanagan, and it was only a late injury to Randall ahead of the Swansea game that cut his season short.

With the likes of Randall, Joe Gomez and Brad Smith seeming to have more of Klopp’s backing than Flanagan, it is difficult to see where he would slot in.

It is a humongous pre-season ahead of Flanagan and I would love to see him prove me wrong, but it would take something akin to a miracle for Flanagan to displace either Nathaniel Clyne or Alberto Moreno or whoever Klopp decides to buy at left-back, if he chooses to.

For Jon Flanagan, the dream could be over. It may be misfortune that the injury came when it did, for him but as he would know all too well, Liverpool FC is bigger than any individual on its rolls. 

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  1. Are you actually on drugs???
    When we played Seville we needed a player like Flanno to drive and inspire the rest of them.

    • So, we needed a player who’s poor defensively and terrible going forward? Don’t talk daft.

  2. What a load of rubbish. One of the worst articles I’ve ever read. The author doesn’t realize that Flanno is an Anfield favourite! The supporters love him.

    • On what planet does that actually mean anything?? Lucas is a fans favourite too, and he’s also rubbish. Flanagan is terrible.

  3. Not sure what the people who have commented are watching. Article is too nice to flanno. He is most dribbled past defender in epl when he plays regularly. He not a good defender either and also loses his man too often. Now with even less pace and shyness to tackle he should be binned.

  4. This article is too negative..
    Remember what he has shown in the 2013-14 season . He not just proved himself a reliable backup but indeed displaced one of the highest paid players in the club from the starting line up. This lad is back from a long hiatus of 2 seasons , that too from a horribly injury hit period . Upon God’s sake please give him the time !!!!

    • He didn’t replace one of the highest paid players at the club and he was poor then, and is even worse now.

  5. I agree with most of this article. I dont think Jon Flanagan is good enough for Liverpool but in contrast to the writer I never have done. For what its worth I am from Liverpool and was brought up very close to Utting Avenue where Flanagan was raised. I think some fans do not give an honest assessment of performances by certain players and pay far too much attention to their place of birth. Some foreign players have stupidly been written off after a couple of games whereas local players are often touted as the next big thing. For every Gerrard and Fowler, see a Stephen Wright or David Thompson. It is always healthy to have local representation in your team but ONLY when the players are good enough. Jon Flanagan has shown himself not to be good enough to play for Liverpool. He is a decent footballer but not good enough for our club or I would guess in the Premiership as a whole.

  6. I’ll keep him for another year, simply because with no europe, limited number of games, doubt a better replacement is gonna come. Flanno is serviceable, will work hard and won’t complain. Others will b**** and whine about game time.


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