Rio Ferdinand clashes with Blues legend as Reece James uses Ballon d’Or trick


Frank Leboeuf has been criticised for his decision to label Trent Alexander-Arnold’s defending as ‘Championship-level’ when putting forward his position in the Reece James and Alexander-Arnold debate. The former Blues defender said,

“Look at Trent Alexander-Arnold. I love the guy, his offensive qualities. But defensively, he’s Championship level.” He added to Le Journal du Dimanche , “Only Jurgen Klopp’s system works for him. When it doesn’t work as well as it has this season, all you see is his defensive shortcomings.”

This caught the attention of Ferdinand, who issued his reponse:

“Are you winding me up? It’s disrespectful, some people get too disrespectful. Leboeuf defensively wasn’t the best by the way, so he’s got a cheek. “When you look at Leboeuf you go ‘Unbelievable on the ball, defensively he’s alright, gives you a chance’. I was in team-talks against him and our gaffer would go ‘He’s unbelievable on the ball, prepare for this’, you had to do a team-talk on Lebouef, he was that good, ridiculous. But you would go ‘You get around

James’ Ballon d’Or trick

England played out a thrilling second half against Germany in the final Nations League match. Having gone 2-0 down after half-time, England raced into a 3-2 lead before Kai Havertz equalised three minutes from time. The turning point for Gareth Southgate appeared to be the introduction of Bukayo Saka and Mason Mount. The Arsenal star and newly crowned England Player of the Year was played on his favoured right-wing as opposed to the left wingback spot he was deployed in against Italy.

In that spot he was in front of Reece James and the link-up was electric. As a new combination it caught the attention of fans who have desperate to see it used again by the Three Lions in the World Cup, and some Arsenal fans saw James as Saka’s key to eventually winning the Ballon d’Or.

Potter’s big injury boost

Graham Potter had a good day with injuries as three of his senior players were given boosts. Firstly, Edouard Mendy was imaged training in a game of football-tennis at Cobham, indicating that he may be in line to return against Crystal Palace on Saturday after missing Potter’s first, and only, game in charge against RB Salzburg. Mendy also missed Thomas Tuchel’s last match as he sat on the bench against Dinamo Zagreb.

Christian Pulisic returned for America in their friendly after missing game one of the international break with a knock he picked up in training. N’Golo Kante was also back to training with his teammates, though most of them are still away with their countries, which provides a welcome boost for Potter going into a busy month of matches.

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