Ferdinand criticises another Liverpool player as TAA ‘gets caught ball watching’ vs Ajax

Joe Williams
Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold looks to stop an attack

Rio Ferdinand thinks Liverpool duo Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold should have showed better communication for Ajax’s goal on Tuesday night.

Matip scored the winning goal with a header in the 89th minute after Ajax’s Mohammed Kudus had cancelled out an early opner from Mo Salah in the first half.

The 2-1 win over Ajax sees Liverpool get off the mark in the Champions League after a terrible 4-1 loss to Napoli in the opening gameweek.

Transfer gossip: Chelsea promise transfer chief £260m budget; City may hijack Liverpool deal

But it wasn’t all great as Ferdinand urged Liverpool to “clean these things up” when talking about their defensive fragility that was on show against Ajax.

Alexander-Arnold allowed the ball to go in behind in the move leading to Kudus’ equaliser for the Dutch outfit but Ferdinand has argued that Matip should’ve been communicating better with his Liverpool team-mate.

“The only thing I would say in protection of Trent, if I’m playing here [right centre-back], I’m Trent’s eyes and ears and I’m saying to Trent ‘Anything to feet, you go and get it and stay in that position’, my thing has always been communication,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.

“If these two players say before the game this area behind the full-back, this is my area. I say to the full-back: ‘You got to the ball, the player, if the ball goes over your head and I’m not there then you can shout at me, it’s my fault’, but are they having those conversations?

“Has that been said before or during the game? I don’t see Trent going to Matip ‘Where was you?’ maybe that’s the conversation that has to be had.”

Ferdinand added: “We spoke about being engaged defensively before the game. You can see the intentions of the Liverpool team, pressing in the wide area.

“They beat the press, composure from Ajax, good shape but the ball comes out but Trent’s got to see that run. From this point on, it’s all about Kudus, what a finish, no goalkeeper is saving that.

“Trent can see the wide player, he can see where he goes he just gets caught ball watching. Any mistake at the moment, they’re getting punished. It’s unfortunate for Liverpool but they’ve got to clean these things up.

“Right-backs are so important now and he’s such a ridiculously gifted footballer and this is what he gives you on the other end. There’s not many others, unless Reece James, that give you the output in the forward areas that he gives you.

“You want the balance in his game to come but listen this kids going to be a legend in the game in years to come but there’s areas that need tightening up and that’s part of being a footballer.”