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Trent Alexander-Arnold labelled a defensive disaster for Liverpool

Former Manchester United star John Giles says Trent Alexander-Arnold is a defensive disaster for Liverpool following their 3-2 defeat to West Ham.

The Scouser, who earns £160,000 a week, got a goal and an assist and was the only player that genuinely looked like producing anything of quality against the Hammers. Yet I have seen almost no recognition for the free-kick he scored.

I think Trent has almost become a victim of his own high standards. The English media seems to have almost glossed over the fact that he’s a right-back scoring goals that some forwards and midfielders couldn’t.

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The technique required to place that ball into the top corner over a very tall wall from just outside the 18-yard area with one step was unbelievable, and that alone deserved at least one point.

Of course, I’m not expecting much praise for a Liverpool player from an ex-Manchester United player. But his defensive shortcomings are always highlighted more than his attacking brilliance is.

“Alexander-Arnold, he is absolutely brilliant going forward,” said Giles. “And Robertson is quite good as well, but he is better defensively.

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“But I think Alexander-Arnold is a disaster defensively. I don’t think he even thinks about defending.

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“Now, going forward, he is like an extra man, his distribution is good and he will get a few goals. And his free-kick was brilliant the other day.

“But I always believe that full-backs are full-backs and the main thing you want from them is to defend well. I think even with Alexander-Arnold, they concede more goals than he creates. But he is a brilliant player.”

This is such a biased take, it’s actually remarkable. While any unbiased fan of Liverpool’s will admit that he’s not as good defensively as some other full-backs in the Premier League, to say he causes more goals to be conceded than he creates is just shocking analysis.

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This season alone, Liverpool have scored directly after a touch from Trent on eight occasions – more than any other Premier League full-back. His issues in defence are caused by Jurgen Klopp demanding he be so involved in the final third.

He needs more cover if he’s going to bomb so far forward. Yet I believe that, if you played him as a conservative right wing-back in a system like Chelsea’s, he would perform just as well as Reece James.

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