Joe Gomez discusses adapting to new inverted full back role

Joe Gomez has revealed he is enjoying the challenge of adapting to a new role as an inverted full back.

The 26-year-old is now Liverpool's longest-serving first-team player, having joined the club the summer before Jurgen Klopp's arrival back in 2015.

In that time, he has played in practically every position across the Reds' backline and his versatility has made him an important squad player.

This season, the former Charlton star has been asked to take on a new role, in Jurgen Klopp's tweaked tactical system – namely as an inverted full back.

Implemented in the second half of 2022/23, Liverpool have played a system that sees them revert to a back three in possession with the right back pushing into midfield.

While this hybrid full back/midfield role has been undertaken primarily by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gomez has also been asked to step up this season when the vice captain hasn't been selected, or – in the case of Sunday's win over Fulham – has fully moved into midfield.

More of a natural defender without the passing range of Alexander-Arnold, Gomez insists he is trying to find his own way in the new position and isn't expected to replicate the vice captain's duties.

"It was surprising to do it as quickly as it happened for me," Gomez said of the tactical switch, speaking to the official Liverpool matchday programme. "But it's a case of constantly trying to learn and the manager helps me do that. He takes the pressure off at times by just giving me key points.

"Everyone knows Trent's ability to find passes is world class and I don't think I'm expected to do that. I don't need to do x, y and z, but for me finding that balance of understanding what my role is defensively is important. I need to understand what I need to do, to be the best version of me."

Gomez added that 'choosing when to transition' is the biggest challenge of the new role, saying: "It's constant decision-making about when you can make an impact by coming inside, or when you aren't really an option, is it best to keep the width and have a flexible triangle on the outside?

"The one thing I took note of when I first played there at Wolves was the constant scanning and thinking where is best to position yourself. Then on the transition defensively as well, being mindful that the ball could turn over and you have to be in position to recover as well as support the attack. That's probably the hardest thing."

Joe Gomez, Propaganda

The defender, who has played in 11 of Liverpool's Premier League games so far this season, also sung the praises of his teammate Alexander-Arnold and what he offers as the inverted full back.

"It gave us a real boost at the end of last season and Trent did so well," Gomez added. "He does two things in one phase at times. Trent is obviously a world-class player and changing it how we did speaks for the manager, Pep (Lijnders) and the coaching staff.

"I think everyone's view is that it is suited to Trent massively because of his ability to come inside, the way he affects the game. On a personal note, obviously it is something new for me as well. It takes learning from the manager and understanding from myself as well in trying to do it in my own way. It's a constant learning curve and something I've enjoyed."

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