Trent Alexander-Arnold believes he’s held to different standards than most. The Liverpool right-back finally hit out at criticism.
Trent Alexander-Arnold was unquestionably the most talked about England player ahead of this World Cup. Few felt he should start for his country, while some believed he shouldn’t even make Gareth Southgate’s squad.
He went in the end, of course, but played just a few minutes across England’s three group-stage games. He still holds a bizarre record of having finished fewer 90 minutes for England than he has in competitive finals for Liverpool.
Of course, the main criticism of Alexander-Arnold is in his defending. Plenty of people in England don’t believe he can do it.
Earlier in the year, Jurgen Klopp said he’d ‘knock down’ anyone who claimed his right-back couldn’t defend. This season, again, he says he doesn’t understand the criticism.
Trent Alexander-Arnold on different standards
So what does Alexander-Arnold think? He discussed the criticism openly on TalkSPORT, saying he feels people hold him to a different standard.
“I suppose that’s where I feel like I’m judged with people going to games or people watch me play football with a preconception of ‘he’s not a good defender’ or ‘he can’t defend well’,” he said. “So when I do have that one mistake or that one time someone gets past me then that confirms what they think.
“At times it feels like it doesn’t matter how well I do because if I’m not perfect then it’s not good enough and I’m held to standards that potentially other players aren’t held to, but that’s life. You’ve got to get on with it.”
We wholeheartedly agree. The criticism of his defending just doesn’t hold up. He was a part of the Premier League’s best defence in 2019, 2020 and 2022. That’s impossible if you’re a defensive liability.
You can find people saying he’s too risky in knockout games, despite Alexander-Arnold winning more of them than any other player in that squad – other than Jordan Henderson. Or that you couldn’t play him against a world-class player like Kylian Mbappé. That ignores Alexander-Arnold having won against the Frenchman.
And then there’s the fact that he sees his perceived weaknesses talked about more than his strengths. That’s something Cafú mentioned recently – he says he faced similar criticism himself and never understood it. The Brazilian, of course, was a decent right-back.
We’d think that being the second-most creative player in the Premier League behind Kevin De Bruyne might get you a World Cup start. That’s doesn’t appear to be the case.