Neville gives Alexander-Arnold four-point plan to be more like Neville for Liverpool

Date published: Monday 3rd October 2022 10:42 - Will Ford

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold wipes his nose on his shirt

Gary Neville believes Trent Alexander-Arnold “is a Cafu” but gave the Liverpool full-back a four-point plan so he can be a little more like Gary Neville…

Alexander-Arnold has come in for criticism in recent weeks with his individual defensive work questioned while Liverpool’s as a whole has come under scrutiny.

Neville analysed Alexander-Arnold’s recent displays on Monday Night Football, giving the right-back a four-point plan to improve defensively.

Firstly, Neville claimed the 23-year-old needs to work on his one-vs-one defending.

Neville told Sky Sports: “I know I was a very poor full-back at 20.

“I’d been a centre-back, I couldn’t defend one-vs-one, I didn’t know how to hold my position on that side, I didn’t know my distances, I certainly didn’t know where my body shape should be and I had to learn all those things over a two or three-year period.”

Neville then insisted Alexander-Arnold needs to sprint back when his side are being counter attacked rather than “ambling” back towards his own goal.

Thirdly, the England international was urged to alter his body shape and get “crouched”.

“I used to work with a movement coach,” Neville explained. “He used to say it was ‘like a Tiger ready to pounce’.”

Finally, Neville believes Alexander-Arnold needs to be scanning more frequently to improve the awareness of where both his teammates and the oppositon players are, as he can often be guilty of ball-watching.


READ MORE: Arsenal, Everton pulling together in the winners as Lage, Gerrard, Alexander-Arnold stumble


Despite his constructive criticism, Neville lauded the other side of Alexander-Arnold’s game, likening him to Brazil legend Cafu.

“The hardest parts of the game, he’s doing. No full-back that I’ve ever seen in this country can do what he can do,” Neville said.

“So, if he can just work on those four basic things, we won’t just have one of the best attacking right-backs we’ve ever produced, we’ll have probably the best right back the world has ever produced. Because this is a Cafu. This is that level of full-back. This is something unbelievably special.

“And this is an important juncture in his career, where you say right, what does he do? Does he think ‘I don’t have to do that’, ‘I don’t want to do that’? I would urge him just to work for two months, three months, four months. There might be a negative in him not going to the World Cup.

“But that might be the biggest positive in his career if he has five to six weeks here just literally being coached and working on these things. He’s someone I think is absolutely unbelievable.

“If we look at Trent’s statistics in the last four seasons, since 2018, it is absolutely obscene.

“To put it into perspective I played 400 games in the Premier League and had 35 assists. He’s got 44 in the last four seasons at the age of 23. It is absolutely ridiculous, I cannot believe those numbers.

“So what we’ve got here is one of the great talents that his country has produced in his position. Trent isn’t a young player any more. He’s young in his age, but he’s actually got 250 matches for Liverpool and England. That’s a mountain of games to have.”

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