The Athletic’s Wolverhampton Wanderers correspondent Tim Spiers has criticised the role which Ruben Neves had versus Liverpool.
During the latest round of Premier League fixtures, the Old Gold travelled to Anfield and were comprehensively beaten in a 4-0 defeat (per BBC).
For the clash, Nuno Espirito Santo started Neves on the left of a central midfield three alongside Joao Moutinho and Leander Dendoncker (per WhoScored).
However, with the Reds leading 2-0, the Portuguese midfielder was hauled off in the second half and replaced by Fabio Silva.
In the latest episode of The Athletic’s The Molineux View podcast, Spiers analysed the match against Jurgen Klopp’s outfit and criticised the role which Neves was played in.
He said: “What Ruben Neves was doing, I don’t know. He was sort of playing in a more advanced role, which didn’t really get [him] involved in the game.
“[He] touched the ball 32 times and got subbed after 61 minutes.
“Maybe [Nuno Santo] thought that Neves would be playing through-balls for [Daniel] Podence, [Pedro] Neto and [Adama] Traore to dash on to but he didn’t play a single through-ball all night, so that doesn’t make sense either.
“So, I don’t really understand what Neves’ role was, it was all a little bit confused.”
TIF Thoughts on what Tim Spiers said about Ruben Neves’ role…
As can be seen in what the journalist had to say about Neves’ role against the Reds, he could not quite work out what it was meant to be.
Did Nuno Espirito Santo make a mistake with Ruben Neves' role against Liverpool?
Yes, it was a mistake
No, wasn't Nuno's fault
While Spiers claimed that the Portuguese middleman was in a more advanced role, his average position during the game was actually deeper than both Moutinho and Dendoncker (per WhoScored).
Either way, it was an all-round poor performance from the 23-year-old middleman at Anfield as there was no area in which he excelled.
Despite this, his match rating of 6.26/10 on the night made him Wolves’ third-best player, which perhaps says more about the Old Gold’s performance than Neves’.
So, hopefully, it is a better performance from Wolves right across the pitch in their next outing, as Neves was evidently not the only weak link in the chain.