Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has addressed the claims Trent Alexander-Arnold cannot defend.
Alexander-Arnold did not feature for England during September’s internationals and his place at this winter’s World Cup in Qatar is in jeopardy.
Later in the pre-match press conference, the German manager would go on to explain exactly how Liverpool play and how the full-back fits into it.
Alexander-Arnold and left-back Andy Robertson lead the way and are a key part of Liverpool’s attack. Both players are important to the high press and also have a bad cross on them.
At the risk of overloading it @TrentAA situation, this is the definitive answer to why @LFC the right back is exposed defensively. Jurgen Klopp is willing to take the risk for the reward. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/AFvKljsiru
— Carl Markham (@carlmarkham) September 30, 2022
Klopp said: “The way we play, for example, if you’re not a football expert, if we do a high press, very often, not always, but very often Trent is the highest of the back three, so it means The situation of the high guy, he’s the one who goes to reach – and that’s the way we play football. Now you can say, “Yes, then defend yourself better.” You can’t have everything.
“So if you want a high press, you need players in certain positions.
“Either way, we put a striker a bit wider to cover that area and the midfield a bit higher, or we cover the back line with three players, plus Fabinho or whoever plays the top six and has him higher.”
A common criticism of Alexander-Arnold is his lack of positional awareness.
“The 23-year-old often leaves gaps at the back and the right centre-back has to cover him.
Klopp claims it is a “risk” of his tactics and Alexander-Arnold is only following his instructions.
And he continued: “Well now we don’t get the ball there and the next ball goes way that way yeah now Joel [Matip]Joey [Gomez]Ibu [Konate], whoever plays that side has to cover it, and that’s fine. It’s the risk we take, it’s not a crazy risk. We win the ball nine times out of 10, but the one time we don’t, people ask, “Where’s Trent?” And this is a question I don’t understand.
“Everybody who watches football that often, that long, why would you then say, ‘Yeah, that’s his main job?’ But I told him he has to be there.”
The whole explanation is fascinating and puts into perspective just how harsh Alexander-Arnold’s criticism is.
Liverpool have won two games in the Premier League this season and are currently in eighth place in the table. They return to action on Saturday afternoon.