Gareth Southgate’s use of Trent Alexander-Arnold has been a hot topic ahead of this year’s World Cup, and the Liverpool right-back is now involved in the debate himself.
Alexander-Arnold was included in England’s 26-man squad for the tournament, but it might have been harder for him to break through if Chelsea’s Rhys James had been in good shape.
During the last international break, the 66th number of Liverpool did not make the England squad for the match due to the friendly match with Germany at Wembley. After the game, Southgate explained his decision by saying that, in his opinion, Kieran Trippier’s all-round game was “ahead” of Alexander-Arnold’s game.
To date, he has played 17 matches for the England national team, having received a call-up to the national team for the 2018 World Cup in Russia for the first time. He has been fighting for opportunities since then and is not expected to be the starting player for the Three Lions in Qatar.
On the eve of England’s first match against Iran, Alexander-Arnold was asked to evaluate his performances for the England national team.
“Not the best football I’ve ever played and probably not the worst,” he told ITV Sport.
“Somewhere in between, it’s not surprising, but it’s not the worst, really. It could have been much better.”
Alexander-Arnold’s typically cold-blooded response makes one wonder why there was so much talk around his performances at the international level.
He went on to explain how he hopes his form will improve with the new opportunities.
“No, definitely not, no,” he continued when asked if he should still perform at the level “he expected” in England.
“But if you think about it, I think there have already been 17 or 18 games, and I think, by and large, this is half the season, if you are going to understand it in that sense.
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) November 19, 2022
“The players have an average half of the season. I hope the second half of the season will be much better for me.”
Considering how some fans and experts talk about Alexander-Arnold, you’d think he was one of their worst players.
It’s easy to forget how young he is. By the age of 23, he had won all the club trophies available to him. Not bad for such a “poor defender!”
No matter how often he performs in Qatar, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp know that they have a prestigious talent in their hands.