Football

"The Lad Has Been Hammered" - Johnny Giles Offers A Defence Of Alberto Moreno

"The Lad Has Been Hammered" - Johnny Giles Offers A Defence Of Alberto Moreno

Johnny Giles has offered a defence of much-maligned Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno after the Spaniard was singled out for criticism in the wake of Liverpool's collapse away to Sevilla in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

While the likes of Roy Keane suggested that Alberto Moreno was just not good enough to play for a club the size of Liverpool, Giles - speaking in his regular column for The Herald - suggested that the left-back was being harshly treated.

Instead, Giles pointed the finger of blame at Jurgen Klopp, and stated that he did not believe the former Borussia Dortmund manager was capable of setting up a defence properly, and that Moreno was a victim of his instructions.

Moreno has been the main target for complaint but to my mind, some of the criticism he has shipped has been misdirected.

The lad has been hammered for his poor positional sense but I believe he is following orders and that was very obvious to me in the chastening defeat Liverpool suffered at the hands of Spurs a month ago. As an attacking wing-back, Moreno is quick and exciting and I see the value Klopp places in this quality.

But Klopp does not place the same importance in what an orthodox full-back should be doing when he doesn't have the ball so quite often, when an attack breaks down, it looks like Moreno is all over the place and not doing his job properly.

It may well be that he cannot defend very well but I don't think he can be blamed for being out of position too often in a game when he is simply doing what he is told.

This exposes Klopp's weakness. Look at the 'goals against' column in the current table and you'll see that away from home, Liverpool have conceded 16 in 6, that's almost three goals a game, and scored four fewer.

Giles would continue to express his view that if Liverpool signed Virgil Van Dijk - or 10 defenders of a similar calibre - that the team's defensive woes would not come to an end due to Klopp's philosophy.

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The look on Mohamed Salah's face when Sevilla scored their equaliser at the death during the week cut the figure of a man who couldn't do much more to help his side win, but time and time again Liverpool look susceptible to conceding goals.

Moreno, as well as Dejan Lovren, have come in for a lot of public criticism in recent times, but few have flipped that on Klopp in the manner that Giles has.

You can read his column in full over on Independent.ie.

Mikey Traynor

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