Trent Alexander-Arnold had a terrible game against Chelsea. He hasn’t been the same player that he was last season. Liverpool are now asking him to defend because they're creaking defensively, but he’s struggling to do that job. The priority for him has to be defender first, assist king second.
All of a sudden I’m not hearing this stuff about him being Liverpool’s greatest ever right-back. Everyone who knows football still remembers they had a great right-back in Phil Neal (1974-85).
Gareth Southgate said when he was given the England job that he’s going to pick players on form. Alexander-Arnold is not going to be picked on current form. It's great that he’s the assist king for Liverpool, but the difference is England don’t play in the same fashion, where he can go that far forward.
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The defensive side of his game has always been in doubt and it’s been found out this season in one-against-ones. Teams who play against Liverpool are exploiting that avenue.
If you’re looking at a right-back to start for England in the Euros you have to talk about Reece James. He can play at wing-back very comfortably and he can also play at right-back. He can get forward but more importantly he can defend first.
It is about defending first because you are categorised as a defender, not an assist king – as a defender.
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Klopp has to take some responsibility
Even Jurgen Klopp has shrugged his shoulders at Liverpool's form. He doesn’t really know what’s happened. You see the attitude of Mohamed Salah when he got taken off. Was he upset about being taken off and not being able to help the team, or was he more concerned that he is trying to win the golden boot? You wonder about that. Sadio Mane is also not scoring and there are other individuals who are giving a poor showing.
Klopp has got to be allowed to ride it out after his successes last season. I know there are a lot of fans already calling for him to be sacked. That’s today’s society. When things are not going right they want to call people out and tell people to be sacked. But Klopp’s got to take responsibility because it is his responsibility. He’s the manager. It’s as simple as that.
They need him more than ever to be a really good manager. They need him more now than when they were pushing to win the league.
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It’s a team who have not dealt with the situation of being champions. They haven’t got anywhere near to fulfilling those obligations to try and become champions again. You wonder if a lot of their players have decided what they won last season is enough now. They’ve done it all, they’re immortal because they’ve won what they won.
Home form is difficult for them as it is for 99 per cent of teams at the moment. Then again, away games are difficult too because you’re still coming out to soulless stadiums. Hard work is something you should be able to put in, though, no matter what position in the table you are in.
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