In part one of his weekly Liverpool column, John Aldridge talks about Trent Alexander-Arnold’s recent performance.
I’m curious as to Gareth Southgate’s thoughts after attending Monday night’s vintage Trent Alexander-Arnold performance at the King Power Stadium.
Trent continued his impressive run of performances since assuming a new role in the team with a simply spectacular goal to put the Leicester game out of reach. It has turned out just as I predicted in one of my earlier columns that he would recover from his trying time with the team.
He is the top right-back in the world when it comes to offense. Due to the way he plays, he occasionally does not receive the necessary support and can thus be vulnerable. Alexander-Arnold has appeared much more assured since Klopp made changes to the situation last month and gave him a new lease on life. Prior to now, he seemed to be a different person and player, as though he were carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders.
Several years ago, Southgate tried an experiment to see if he could maximize Trent’s potential in the middle of the field. At the time, it was questioned, but it now appears to be the right move. Trent is a midfielder that England does not have. That is an effective midfield with him, Bellingham, and possibly Rice.
However, and this is just from the perspective of Liverpool, I hope Trent doesn’t play for England again. Although you want him to succeed in his career and he is too good for that to happen, Southgate doesn’t seem to have any interest in him at all. There is not a single English player in the Premier League or abroad who is capable of what he does in midfield. It is up to Southgate to act in the team’s best interests.
Goal difference may determine the top four
By defeating Leicester on Monday night, it was crucial that we maintained our lead over Manchester United and Newcastle. I thought our final ball was a little sloppy, but that’s just me quibbling. We were capable of scoring six goals if we had been at our best. Leicester were open for grabs. As Newcastle currently has a four-goal advantage over us in goal difference, I was hoping we would finish fourth or fifth because you never know if the top-four race will come down to goal difference.
Alisson played outstanding game management, and it’s fantastic that we kept the scoreless. Considering the season we’ve had, it speaks volumes about Alisson’s performance that he is currently only two clean sheets away from securing the Golden Glove. He has been outstanding, so I really want him to succeed.
Manchester United won’t like that we are currently on their shoulders because it will hurt our chances of finishing in the top four. They have the easier games than Newcastle, against teams who have nothing to play for, and will be expected to win their games against Bournemouth, Chelsea, and Fulham.
Newcastle have lost both of its most recent games, and the pressure could get to them because the team has never been in this situation before. Brighton is the team they face next; they just defeated a strong Arsenal team 3-0 away from home, demonstrating that Everton’s defeat was simply an off day. After that, they play Chelsea, a team that continues to be unpredictable in every sense of the word, and a Leicester team that is aware that it will take something special to get three points.
Given their 7-0 loss to us, it would be particularly hilarious if United missed out on the top four on the basis of goal difference. It won’t happen because of their home record, but it would be incredible to witness.