Glenn Hoddle critical of Liverpool duo Van Dijk & Alexander-Arnold

21 August 2023 - 3:41 am

Jurgen Klopp’s side started their Premier League encounter in a very poor fashion, with Antoine Semenyo cashing in on poor play from Trent Alexander-Arnold and Virgil van Dijk, as Liverpool fell behind during the opening five minutes.

Tottenham legend Hoddle made it clear to the England right-back that if he is playing in midfield, ‘then you have to play with 360 degrees’, whilst he thought van Dijk put his teammate into ‘trouble’ by playing the ‘wrong’ pass in the first place, as he told Premier League Productions (19/08/23 at 3:55 pm).

Liverpool were lucky that it was only 1-0 during the early stages, because inside the first minute, the away side had a goal ruled offside.

It was a frantic start from the Cherries, who after losing 9-0 at Anfield last season under Scott Parker, were keen to make sure not to go down the same round again.

Nonetheless, this is what Hoddle made of Liverpool’s defending, as he had a word of advice for Alexander-Arnold given his new role for the team.

“They are so sloppy at the back, like it’s still 9-0 from last year,” said Hoddle. “That’s how they played it. You see van Dijk, he wrapped one into Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“For me, it’s the wrong pass anyway from van Dijk. He has to go out to his other centre-back here, Konate. The ball is played, it’s all nice and slow.

“This is where Trent comes into that central position. If you are going to play in there, then you have to play with 360 degrees. It’s different than being out wide. You can’t make a bad touch.

“For me, the distance he has played the ball from van Dijk to him, it shouldn’t be played at that distance. You are asking for trouble. It’s a poor touch and then Semenyo. He actually did really well to keep over the top of that finish.”

Liverpool’s defensive issues

The main reason why the Reds missed out on Champions League football last season was their abject defending, especially on the road.

Well, that has filtered its way into pre-season this summer, and during these first two games, as they are still looking to find their first clean sheet.

But following the arrival of Liverpool’s new defensive machine – Wataru Endo – fans will be hoping his energy can help lift a team that still has defensive issues.