Few players are less fashionable in the modern game than Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner.
In an era when Football Manager, FIFA and statistics-based websites such as Squawka and WhoScored allow any football fans to proclaim themselves experts on any player across Europe, who really cares about two functional English full-backs?
The snobbery against British players can become a little tiresome at times – just imagine how much more praise Adam Lallana would receive if he was Spanish – but one thing than cannot be argued is that Clyne and Milner are not performing, and haven’t been for some time.
Earlier in the season, when Liverpool were flying, the English duo were key, in-form cogs in the wheel. Clyne was at his unflustered best, defending impeccably and linking up effectively with Sadio Mane down the right flank, while Milner was thriving in a new left-back role.
There was plenty willing to ridicule Milner as a disaster area from minute one, which all seemed rather needless, but he shut them up and added plenty down the left, in tandem with Philippe Coutinho.