Trent Alexander-Arnold has enough critics, and Gary Neville doubted before the World Cup that Gareth Southgate would “entrust him with knockout games.” A strange statement, given the experience of number 66.
Before the World Cup and the announcement that Alexander-Arnold would be in Southgate’s team, Neville said on Sky Sports:
“He does reckless things. At the World Cup today, a penalty would have been awarded against him, and in the second stage or quarterfinals, he scored an away goal.
“I don’t think Gareth will trust him with a knockout game, so will he take him then?”
Now Neville has previously praised Alexander-Arnold and said he could become “the best right-back the world has ever produced,” but his “reckless” comments have caused some to be surprised.
As for Alexander-Arnold himself, he feels that he “performed at full capacity” in the knockouts for Liverpool, a stage that “pisses me off in the best way.”
“I can only withdraw from the elimination games I’ve been involved in,” Trent told ITV Sport when asked about Neville’s comments.
“I think looking back at the ones I played in, the big games, the big moments in football, and I was lucky that there were a lot of them.
“I think I performed and took responsibility very well. I have withstood this pressure.
“I like playing with that kind of pressure, and I think for me the bigger games, the ones that mean the most, are the ones that piss me off.”
LEICESTER, ENGLAND — Saturday, July 30, 2022: Trent Alexander-Arnold of Liverpool celebrates scoring the first goal during the FA Community Shield friendly match between Liverpool and Manchester City at the King Power Stadium.
And Jurgen Klopp shared the same point of view as his right-back in the days after Neville’s comments: “Trent is 24 now and he has won quite a few finals, important games in which to defend.”
Three Champions League finals, the Super Cup, the Club World Cup and successful exits to the finals of the FA Cup and League Cup — all this speaks for itself by the age of 24.
Not to mention winning the Premier League and the elimination matches preceding the aforementioned finals.
In the end, however, the opinion of the Liverpool coach is only one of two “in football right now” that Alexander—Arnold, along with Southgate, care about when they choose teams.