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Liverpool Assistant Coach Comes To Neco Williams’ Defense

NecWilliams on August 2020 signed a new long-term contract with Liverpool Football Club.
Social media often gets out of hand with people hiding behind handles to air their opinions. Though some mean well, some make ridiculous criticism of athletes. One person who found himself in the middle of abuse is Neco Williams.

KEY POINTS

  • Liverpool coach comes to Neco Williams’ defense
  • Williams lauded for how he handled social media attacks  
  • Williams continues to rise for the Reds

The 19-year-old full-back drew a barrage of criticism on social media, with Williams eventually opting to blackout his Twitter account. The backlash came not long after the Reds victory at Lincoln in the Carabao Cup last week. Reds assistant coach Pep Lijnders has come to the defense of Williams, hitting back at online critics for their behavior. He said that people who abuse players should not be considered Liverpool supporters.

“It's not for me to comment on social media. The only thing I can say is that abuse is wrong, whether it is on social media or on the street. It’s wrong,” Lijnders said. “Second, you are not a Liverpool supporter if you don’t support.” For Williams, his decision not to engage and just block his Twitter account was lauded by his Liverpool comrades. That includes Jurgen Klopp and some of the senior players who praised him for handling the unwanted attention. 

"Trent (Alexander-Arnold) spoke with him (Williams), Virgil spoke with him, Robbo (Andrew Robertson) spoke with him - so it's not only Jurgen or me,” Lijnders added. "It's how we take care of each other and that's what makes us different." Further, Lijnders stressed that Williams is a doer and that mistakes do happen. He added that Liverpool prefers to have players who are ready to take risks and take the initiative in whatever position they may be playing. 

Social media has become the source of attacks, particularly on players who commit mistakes and errors. Hiding behind fictitious handles, Williams is not the first one to get his share of insults online. Regardless, Williams continues to rise. He has made about a dozen appearances for the Reds in 2020 and this includes winning the Premier League winner’s medal. He got a five-year contract in August for his efforts. Also, he scored his first international goal three weeks later for Wales, his only second senior appearance. He is likely to start once more against Arsenal on Thursday.
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