The value of a talented fullback in the modern game certainly cannot be underestimated.
In contrast to those of yesteryear, the modern fullback isn’t just expected to go on the overlap and get back into position to defend. Instead, they’re often deployed as inside midfielders at times, capable of instigating attacks on their own.
And there are no better examples than the resolute pair of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. They were at their best again during Liverpool‘s league clash against West Ham, Arnold provided the assist for the goal while Robertson put in a goal-saving tackle on Michail Antonio.
The Liverpool duo have been at the top of the ladder for the past few years now, and are deservingly hailed as world-class. The latest addition, joining their long list of admirers, is former West Ham manager Slaven Bilic.
The Croatian featured on the post-game broadcast on Premier League Productions, and said, “They are playmakers as full-backs. The way they pass the ball through the lines, they’re unbelievable.”
“These two are doing it week in week out for four years now. I think they are the best full-backs in modern football.”
Receiving a former manager’s analysis always provides for some intriguing insight, and on this occasion, Bilic pointed out the pair’s remarkable work rate – “What amazes me is the amount of quality and energy they have.”
He then compared and contrasted the systems of Liverpool and Chelsea, both teams who place the creative onus on their fullbacks. The Croatian pointed out that while Chelsea plays with 3 at the back, Liverpool sticks with 2, a fact which really highlights the Liverpool duo’s energy.
3 points against West Ham meant that Liverpool keep the pressure on City, who now welcome city rivals Manchester United to the Etihad, adding even more spice to a tantalizing Derby.