Ashley Cole sends blunt message about where Liverpool first teamer must improve

Sam Preston April 7, 2021
Photo by Phil Noble - Pool/Getty Images

Ashley Cole knows all about what it takes to be an England regular at full-back.

That’s something many feel Trent Alexander-Arnold should already be but he was left out of Gareth Southgate’s most recent squad.

In his past two games, Alexander-Arnold’s performances have made the case either way.

On Saturday night, he shone in an attacking sense at Arsenal, before a defensive error cost Liverpool a goal in their 3-1 loss to Real Madrid last night.

Cole has given Alexander-Arnold some technical advice on Twitter after last night’s defeat.

He clearly feels that the Liverpool man needs to improve his stride patterns in order to match the runs of the men he’s marking.

Cole was fantastic at both ends of the pitch; capable of bombing on all day long but also pocketing the world’s best wingers.

Alexander-Arnold is great going forward but question marks persist over his defensive work and they cropped up again last night.

Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

There’s a lot of tribal nonsense between fans on Twitter, but when someone like Cole – who had such a decorated career at full-back – comments on Alexander-Arnold, it’s worth taking stock of.

Another former England full-back, Gary Neville, retweeted Cole’s analysis, inferring that he agrees with his old international teammate’s assessment.

If England didn’t have any other elite right-backs, Alexander-Arnold would be a must-pick.

But the standard of the competition is so high that he might well be left out until he improves in the areas Cole mentions.