Gary Neville: Liverpool defending 'appalled' me - but Rodgers has changed that

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

The former Manchester United defender feels the Reds boss deserves 'great respect.'

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville says he had been 'appalled' by Liverpool's defending over the last couple of seasons, according to his regular column in the Daily Telegraph.

The Sky Sports pundit and England coach leveled the criticism at Premier League clubs generally but singled out the Reds as the perfect example.

Liverpool, though, are also an example of a side that have turned their fortunes around, according to the ex-Manchester United right-back.

Indeed, Neville believes boss Brendan Rodgers deserves 'great respect' for the way in which he has transformed the Reds' defending this season.

"I have been appalled in the last season or two by some of the defending, collectively," he said.

"In that respect, Brendan Rodgers deserves great respect for reversing what was a negative trend towards poor defending by Liverpool. Even last season, when they were challenging for the title.

"Now, they have much better resilience and defensive organisation."

  Clean SheetsGames
Chelsea 13 28
Southampton 13 29
Liverpool 12 29
West Brom 12 29
Arsenal 10 29
Man Utd 10 29
Swansea 10 29

As Opta stats show, Liverpool have accumulated the second-highest tally of Premier League clean sheets this season - an unbelievable feat considering their previous defensive struggles.

As Neville says, the Reds were extremely poor at the back last season. And their problems continued this term.

Since Rodgers switched Liverpool's formation to one containing three centre-backs, however, the Anfield outfit have been superb at the back.

Supporters will no doubt hope that defensive solidity continues against Neville's old side Manchester United this Sunday - with there being even more riding on one of football's biggest games than usual.

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