Nev: TAA and Robertson are Prem’s best ever
Gary Neville rates Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson as the Prem’s best ever full-backs.
Neville, who played as a right-back at Manchester United, was very impressed with Alexander-Arnold and Robertson during the Reds’ 2-2 draw at Tottenham on Sunday.
The footballer-turned-pundit can’t remember two full-backs who have ever played as well as a pair as the Liverpool duo, whom he compared to legendary Brazilians Roberto Carlos and Cafu.
Carlos is remembered as one of football’s greatest ever left-backs thanks to his stunning 11-year stint at Real Madrid and powerful left foot, while Cafu is also regarded as one of the best right-backs to ever play after a two decade spell at the top.
Between then they amassed a combined 267 caps for Brazil, won nine league titles, four Champions Leagues, two Copa Libertadores and a number of other major team and individual trophies.
They were also key men in two Copa America wins and the 2002 World Cup win.
Neville said on his Sky Sports podcast: “Sometimes, during a game, you have to check yourself when you’re involved in an emotional game like this as a co-commentator or commentator, you’re mentioning them in the same breath as probably the two greatest full-backs I’ve ever seen, Roberto Carlos and Cafu.
“For so many years they were the shining example. They transformed full-back play.
“I know there had been attacking full-backs before, the Liverpool teams of the 70s, but when you think of them as being an attacker first, defender second, contributing to free-kicks, attacks, crosses, every part of the game. They made full-backs a prominent part of the team.
“They were exceptional, but these two… I don’t think I’ve seen two full-backs play in the Premier League that are as good as these two as a pair. The way in which they combine on the pitch, the way they play the game, they’re an absolute joy.
“Robertson with his consistency does everything well. Defends well, he’s competitive – slightly too much at the end – but he scored a goal and set up a goal.
“Alexander-Arnold is an absolute phenomenon when it comes to the quality of his passing, his delivery. It’s something I’ve never seen before from a full-back.”