Fans took to Twitter on Wednesday evening to make the same point about Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker. It comes after England conceded a late equaliser to Poland.
England took the lead in Poland on Wednesday as captain Harry Kane scored a fantastic long-range strike. They then had roughly 17 minutes to secure a point.
However, England couldn’t quite manage it as they conceded a late, late equaliser. Damian Szymanski did the damage by heading home a Robert Lewandowski cross.
It all stemmed from Kyle Walker getting absolutely roasted on the flank, allowing Poland to cause chaos in the England box. They got their goal seconds later.
And that’s particularly interesting as defensive vulnerability is frequently named as the sole reason Trent Alexander-Arnold isn’t in the England team. He’s just not good enough one-on-one, apparently, which means Walker is the better option.
So with that in mind, fans had a lot to say about that after Walker’s struggles in Poland.
Fans make Walker / Alexander-Arnold comparison
Walker with multiple mistakes and one costing us a goal. Pundits will still tell us its Alexander Arnold who cant defend though.— Dizz (@jack2059) September 8, 2021
Now, we don’t think this is any reflection on Walker as he’s a very good defender. You can easily argue that he’s a better defender than Alexander-Arnold and that’s a fair opinion to hold.
But this is a fine example of why the criticism surrounding Alexander-Arnold’s defending is just completely ridiculous. Full-backs get beat one-on-one – it happens all the time. In fact, there are remarkably few who never let wingers past them.
People love to take isolated moments, however, and use them to define a player’s ability. And they will wilfully ignore everything outside of that.
They’ll ignore the fact that Alexander-Arnold was part of the Premier League’s best defence in both 2019 and 2020. They’ll ignore that his stats actually hold up as well as anyone else’s.
Unfortunately, people will likely just use this to criticise Walker rather than concede that Alexander-Arnold is actually quite good. We’ll hold out hope, though – the Liverpool right-back deserves more credit.