Liverpool have seemingly made some defensive changes this season.
Pundit Gary Neville has told Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football (19/08, 10:40pm) that Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold have both denied to him that Liverpool have made defensive changes.
The Reds have won both of their Premier League games so far this season, beating Southampton 2-1 on Saturday afternoon after opening up with a 4-1 defeat of Norwich City.
A UEFA Super Cup win between those Premier League victories means it’s been a great start to the season in terms of results, but some have spotted some frailties.
Norwich caused Liverpool real problems early on in the first game of the season, and were able to carve open the Reds back line for Teemu Pukki’s consolation.
Southampton were not only able to capitalise on a terrible Adrian error, but also managed to get in behind the Liverpool defence on a couple of occasions, including for a late Danny Ings miss which should have been buried.
There have been issues in goal, with Alisson out injured and backup Adrian nursing an ankle injury himself, but they also appear to be playing an even higher line than last season, with more offside trap play involved too.
Liverpool have great athletes at the back who can race back if needed, but they seem a little more open than last season, which Neville and Jamie Carragher discussed last night.
Neville claims he spoke to both Alexander-Arnold and Gomez about Liverpool’s defensive changes, but the duo claimed they haven’t worked on anything differently to last season despite Neville feeling there is evidence on the contrary.
With that in mind, Carragher admitted that he’s got concerns about Liverpool, and has real fears that their defence could be exposed against Arsenal this coming weekend, against Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe.
“I asked Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold on the pitch after the Norwich game, the first question I asked them was ‘it looks like you’re basically pushing up a lot more, or you’re holding your line a lot higher’ – they said they weren’t, they said they hadn’t been working on anything different in training, but there’s three or four examples now. The Community Shield, the Norwich game, this [Southampton] game, Chelsea the same. Four games now, the evidence is there – something has changed, I don’t know what it is,” said Neville.
“When I say Liverpool have got away with it, the quality of player [against them] hasn’t been top class. The quality Arsenal have, if Liverpool get caught in those positions and don’t run back, they’re going to have major problems within that game. The chances, the shots on goal that they’re allowing at this moment, better quality teams and better quality strikers are going to make Liverpool pay,” added Carragher.