'You can't trust him': TalkSPORT pundit claims £160k-a-week Liverpool man needs major work on his positioning
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

'You can't trust him': TalkSPORT pundit claims £160k-a-week Liverpool man needs major work on his positioning

Liverpool defender Trent Alexander-Arnold hasn’t improved defensively over the last two or three years.

So claims TalkSPORT pundit Perry Groves. Speaking on the radio station yesterday, Groves suggested that the Liverpool player needs major work on his positional sense when defending.

“There’s probably only three players at Liverpool who are playing at the level they should be and he’s one that’s dropped off. It was always going to be his defensive qualities. Earlier on in tournaments [you can play him] where you have most of the ball but in the latter stages, hopefully into the quarter and semi-finals, he’s not going to play because you can’t trust him defensively,” siad the former Arsenal player.

“We’ve been talking about this for two or three years and he still hasn’t improved defensively. You have all these coaches, throw-in coaches, set-piece coaches, surely they must be working with Alexander-Arnold on one vs one.”

Groves even suggested that he’d send his former Arsenal teammate Lee Dixon to Liverpool to help Trent out.

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“I’d send Lee Dixon up there for two days and he’d get his positional play sorted out. Is it because he doesn’t think like a defensive full-back, he doesn’t want to defend? It doesn’t seem like he’s able to sniff danger out at all,” he said.

Trent coming under constant attack

It’s rare to see a player come under as much scrutiny as Alexander-Arnold does for his defending.

Yes, players go through patches of form, and are questioned whenever their levels drop. But with Trent, even if he’s playing really well, this seems to be a constant discussion.

It seems impossible for some pundits to praise his attacking play without countering that with his supposed defensive frailties.

Of course, we know that the £160k-a-week man can improve defensively, that’s clear. This season has been a bit of a nadir in that respect for Alexander-Arnold, as soft goals continue to be scored against him.

Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Going the other way, he’s surprisingly still to register an assist for Liverpool this season, too. But still, the constant highlighting of his shortcomings seems unnecessary at this point. The glee at which they’re occasionally pointed out with is downright bizarre.

The best way that Liverpool’s no.66 can answer these critics is with improvement on the pitch. His body language hasn’t been the best at times this season, but neither has several of his teammates.

As a starting point, Tuesday’s game against Ajax was better from Trent. He could maybe have done more for Mohammed Kudus’ goal, but it wasn’t a glaring error.

In the second half, Alexander-Arnold did actually look solid as well. The 23-year-old defended well one-v-one a couple of times to prevent dangerous situations developing. More of the same in the months ahead and he can put this kind of talk to bed.

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