Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler has criticised Trent Alexander-Arnold’s “lack of desire” in getting back to help defend on Wednesday night.
The Anfield icon was speaking on BT Sport as the Reds fell to a 4-1 defeat at Napoli in the Champions League.
Liverpool fell apart defensively in a first half which saw the hosts surge into a three-goal lead.
Napoli then made it 4-0 shortly after the interval, before Luis Diaz pulled back what proved a consolation.
Most of Liverpool’s players struggled on the night, but Alexander-Arnold came under particular criticism.
The 23-year-old has some bright moments, but on the whole his defending was below par.
For example, he was beaten too easily by Kvicha Kvaratskhelia in the build up for Napoli’s third goal.
And Fowler – as well as fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand – slated Alexander-Arnold for a perceived lack of effort in defending.
“What I would say is you can’t question the desire of this team over the last few years, but you can tonight,” Fowler said last night, via the Daily Mail.
“We know how good Napoli are and they’ve been brilliant, but Liverpool have been so poor.
“Joe Gomez will get all the stick [for his first-half performance] but look at the lack of desire from Trent.
“You can’t call out him going forward. But defensively we can pick him apart because he doesn’t show the same desire to get back than he does to get forward and that’s wrong.
“Liverpool were shocking defensively.”
Ferdinand agreed with Fowler, questioning why Alexander-Arnold failed to help his teammates defensively.
He added: “It was an embarrassing first 45 minutes for Liverpool, particularly defensively. What you can’t accept as a manager or as a player is a lack of effort and desire.
“When people don’t run or don’t have the desire to get back. Gomez makes the mistake but you’ve got to get back and help your teammates and Trent didn’t do that.
“Liverpool got teased, they got embarrassed, they got shown up. This result has been coming too. They were lacklustre and lacked grit, determination and desire.”