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Are you winding me up?’: Ferdinand defends Liverpool star after ‘too disrespectful’ comments this week

Rio Ferdinand defends Trent Alexander-Arnold after some ‘disrespectful’ comments about the Liverpool player recently. The right-back is out of the England squad.


Trent Alexander-Arnold is the talk of English football once again after Gareth Southgate left him out of the England setup to face Germany. The Liverpool right-back isn’t in the mix, it seems.


Of course, Alexander-Arnold has been receiving criticism all season long. A misfunctioning Liverpool side has left to some poor performances – and the right-back has looked isolated at times. That’s led to defensive mistakes from a player who prefer to look forward.


Frank Leboeuf is one of those who criticised Alexander-Arnold recently. The former Chelsea and France star was highly critical, in fact, as he called the Scouser a ‘Championship defender’.


“Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level,” Leboeuf told Journal du Dimanche.


“Only [Jurgen] Klopp’s system works for him. When it doesn’t work as well as it has this season, all you see is his defensive shortcomings.”


Rio Ferdinand took a real exception to those words on Monday. He discussed Alexander-Arnold on his Five podcast and can’t quite believe the ‘disrespect’ heading his way.


“I don’t know how[Southgate] has not taken him,” said Ferdinand. “He’s not even in the squad – I don’t understand it.


“Even Leboeuf! Even Frank Leboeuf had the cheek the other day to say he’s a Championship defender. Are you winding me up? It’s disrespectful. Some people get too disrespectful.”


Rio Ferdinand defends Trent Alexander-Arnold

This disrespect Alexander-Arnold gets is unbelievable at times. Liverpool aren’t playing very well, of course, and that exposes his deficiencies – but that goes for every player at the club. The same happens with all players when the team breaks down.

But the fact is, Liverpool maintained the tightest defence in the Premier League with Alexander-Arnold in it. That is impossible if he’s a ‘Championship defender’. Maybe you can still have a decent defence with a weak link in there but the outright best? You simply can’t.


Alexander-Arnold isn’t quite 24 but has been a critical player in a side that has won everything at the club level. He’d be a starting player for any other national team – and heralded as one of the best of his generation. In England, though, only his weaknesses are important, while his qualities are actually talked down.


In this very podcast, one of Ferdinand’s cohosts accuses Alexander-Arnold of merely ‘spamming crosses’. That’s simply ridiculous and it’s difficult to think of another player to have achieved as much as the Scouser who also faced the same criticism.

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