Trent Alexander-Arnold has to sacrifice his game to help turn Liverpool around, according to Danny Murphy. The right-back has ‘free rein’.
Liverpool aren’t firing on all cylinders, as you may have noticed. Unsurprisingly, everyone watching has their own reason as to why that is and many point fingers at the defence.
That inevitably means questioning Trent Alexander-Arnold, a player with a reputation for being the world’s worst defender. Or thereabouts. Surely, then, it’s time for him to sacrifice his forward-thinking game for the team’s good?
That’s the opinion of Danny Murphy, who feels the right-back must make changes at this point in his career.
“The best players make good decisions at the right time but if Jordan Henderson is injured, Trent can look isolated when he goes forward without having the same defensive insurance around him,” Murphy told the Daily Mail.
He has to look at his positional play and smell danger a bit quicker. He has been given free rein for a long time but he should protect himself better, even if it means sacrificing some forward runs.
I sometimes slid into the comfort zone and needed a jolt. I’m not saying Trent is the same but the coaches at Liverpool could spend more time with him analysing the defensive parts of his game that need work.
Trent Alexander-Arnold must sacrifice his game
It always feels a little insulting to suggest that Liverpool’s coaches, who have overseen one of the best sides on the planet in recent years, simply aren’t aware that Alexander-Arnold can’t defend. Many have said that they need to change this or that, or sit down and explain defending to their right-back. Murphy is far from the first to suggest this.
The reality is that this problem only ever comes about when the team is faltering as a whole. Alexander-Arnold has never been the liability that people suggest. It is impossible to boast the Premier League’s best defence while having a glaring weakness down one flank.
Instead, Alexander-Arnold – and Liverpool as a whole – look vulnerable this season for several reasons. They’re not pressing well, for one, and teams continue to out-run them. They’re giving the ball away to an initial press, too, that exposes their backline.
And on top of it all, their injury crisis in midfield leaves them disorganized at the worst time. Those are the problems that continue to haunt them. Asking Alexander-Arnold to create less wouldn’t fix the problem and would make the attack worse.
It’s absolutely not the fix here.