Gary Neville slams Trent Alexander-Arnold mistake in Liverpool clash
Gary Neville has told Sky Sports (broadcast on 9/10; 17:22) that Trent Alexander-Arnold was just not good enough for the goal Liverpool conceded just before half-time in their Premier League clash with Arsenal.
Alexander-Arnold was taken off at the break at the Emirates after a tough first-half. It did appear that he was struggling after a nasty clash with Gabriel Martinelli.
But his performance probably did not make Jurgen Klopp’s decision on taking him off any more challenging. The 23-year-old had a torrid time dealing with Gabriel Martinelli.
Alexander-Arnold not good enough for Arsenal goal
Martinelli broke the deadlock for the Gunners. And a counter attack down Liverpool’s right flank led to Mikel Arteta’s side going into the break back in front.
Alexander-Arnold moved across as Martinelli broke into the box. However, he was beaten much too easily, leaving Kostas Tsimikas outnumbered inside the penalty area. And Bukayo Saka was able to take full advantage to score Arsenal’s second.
Neville has previously spoken of his admiration for Alexander-Arnold. He noted on Monday Night Football that he would be one of the best players in the world if he was at good at defending as he is going forward.
But the pundit did not hold back in his assessment of Alexander-Arnold’s part in Saka’s goal.
“They get a counter attack. It’s not good enough from Thiago. I praised him all the way through the first-half. I have no idea what Trent Alexander-Arnold’s doing here, I have to say,” he told Sky Sports.
“Once he goes across there and just does that, he leaves Tsimikas in the middle isolated on his own. Liverpool’s right-back goes across and that is just not good enough.”
It feels unfair to be too critical of Alexander-Arnold. Ultimately, he was not good enough for the goal. But he has been having to deal with so much criticism in recent weeks.
This is not the case for Neville, but it does seem that some take some kind of strange joy out of the youngster struggling.
His defending does need to improve. But it must not be forgotten that Alexander-Arnold is capable of things on a football pitch most other players simply cannot do.
And at some point, Alexander-Arnold’s form is going to turn around.
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