Jurgen Klopp noted he clearly sees his star fullback Trent Alexander-Arnold in a different light to England boss Gareth Southgate following the defender’s omission from the national squad.
The 23-year-old’s form has been called into question of late after a handful of clear defensive errors were made in the start of the campaign – most notably in clashes with Manchester United and Napoli.
“We are fine here because it’s completely different. Obviously, I see him differently – that’s clear,” the German told reporters at his pre-match presser, as relayed on the club’s website. “There are stories out there that all the time people talk about him and say he’s not a good defender. That’s not true, he is a good defender.”
That being said, the general nature of the right-back’s style of play – in particular, his ranging runs up the pitch – is a requirement ultimately set by the manager.
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It’s clear that certain aspects of the Englishman’s play simply can’t be called into question as direct tactical instructions.
On that strand of thought, it’s frustrating to see Alexander-Arnold so often criticised for leaving space behind him in the backline when he supports our press and utilises his creativity higher up the pitch.
There are clear errors he does need to cut out of his game, of course, though he’s not alone in experiencing a difficult start to 2022/23.