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Liverpool's Mascherano happy with defensive role

Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano is happy with his role as the team's chief destroyer.

He told the Daily Mail: "The holding midfielder must keep his position, cover the space, protect the centre back. The most important job is to protect the centre back. Then, win the second balls. In England, many teams play long, so be ready to collect the second ball.

"When you have the ball, do not give it away; a simple pass, easy ball to one of your team-mates.

"When Claude Makelele came to Chelsea, he showed you how to play the position. It was an education. Always, Makelele is in the right position. He doesn't have to run a lot, he knows where he must be, he anticipates danger. Owen Hargreaves is the best English player for this job."

Mascherano added: "Maybe the fans don't yet like the position too much because it is seen as negative. They like goals, but I come back again and ask you 'how can you score when you are the holding midfielder?'.

"If you have a good shot, it helps, like Xabi Alonso, who has a beautiful shot, but my priority is my job. Perhaps I could score three goals a season. Maybe. I will try, no?"

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Tribal Football Staff

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