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'He's not a defender!' | How Liverpool can make better use of Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool's record-equalling win over Bournemouth re-affirmed the belief that Trent Alexander-Arn...



'He's not a defender!' | How L...
Soccer

'He's not a defender!' | How Liverpool can make better use of Alexander-Arnold

Liverpool's record-equalling win over Bournemouth re-affirmed the belief that Trent Alexander-Arnold is not a defender, according to Johnny Ward, Dan McDonnell and Shane Keegan.

Liverpool thrashed Bournemouth in the fourth round of the Premier League on Saturday, equalling the Premier League's highest scoring victory.

Jurgen Klopp's side joined Manchester United and Leicester City as the only teams to have scored nine unanswered goals in a Premier League fixture.

The record has stood since 1995, when Manchester United beat Ipswich town 9-0. It was equalled by Leicester City in 2019 against Southampton, before United equalled their own record again in 2021, also against Southampton.

However, what was perhaps most impressive for Liverpool was that they equalled the record with Mo Salah adding his name to the scoresheet.

One of the seven men that did score for Liverpool, though, was Trent Alexander-Arnold, who found the back of the net in the 28th minute.

It was an excellent strike that highlighted Alexander-Arnold's unique skillset, and got Football Saturday talking about how he is wasted at right back for Liverpool.

Irish Independent football writer Dan McDonnell, as well as journalist Johnny Ward and Cobh Ramblers manager Shane Keegan were all present on Football Saturday to react to the historic Liverpool victory.

How do you get the best out of Alexander-Arnold?

Ward suggested that Alexander-Arnold be moved into a role where his goal-scoring and assist capabilities would be his main focus.

"If you did a social experiment where you tell Jurgen Klopp, 'You have to play Trent Alexander as a number 10 this season,' he'd probably score a lot of goals like that," Ward said.

"The quality of that strike is insane! He just doesn't take that many shots, but he's such a good footballer. What a player."

While Keegan agreed that Alexander-Arnold is a very gifted footballer, he couldn't resist highlighting his biggest frailty: his defence.

"He's the complete footballer, apart from [not] being able to defend in right back situations," Keegan joked.

Alexander-Arnold remains vital to Liverpool's XI, however the question of his best position had to be raised. While, in theory, a change of formation could help Alexander-Arnold find his best form, it might not make the most practical sense.

"Salah has to play where Salah is," Keegan said. "So, for them to change formation it will have to be 3-4-3. That will allow [Alexander-Arnold] to play right of the four, and Salah could still play right of the three.

"Have Liverpool got two central midfielders good enough to be able to cope with two bodies in there? I doubt it. In theory, it makes sense, but when you play it out, how do you change the formation to accommodate it?"

'He's not a defender!'

It has not been the best start to the new season for Liverpool. In their first three matches, they recorded two draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace respectively, and most recently lost 2-1 to Manchester United.

Alexander-Arnold in particular did not paint himself in glory in that defeat. He was caught napping and exploited by Jadon Sancho for their first goal after 16 minutes.

"He's not a defender!" Ward exclaimed. Keegan agreed, using the example of Jadon Sancho's goal against Liverpool in the third week of the Premier League.

"The video of him for Jadon Sancho goal is embarrassing. He has to be looking at that and be very embarrassed with himself.

"The fact that he switches off when the pass is played, then just makes no attempt to recover his position is what allows Sancho to turn back from the original direction he was going and have all the time in the world to pick the bottom corner.

"He just needs to develop his defence, but I don't think he's that interested in defending, for lack of a better way of putting it."

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9-0 Bournemouth Bruno Fernandes Champions League Cristiano Ronaldo Dan Mcdonnell Erik Ten Hag Football Football Saturday Gavin Bazunu John Duggan Johnny Ward Jurgen Klopp Lfc Liverpool Man United Mufc Otb Football Saturday Premier League Shane Keegan Sky Ireland Soccer Southampton Southampton 0-1 Man United Trent Alexander-Arnold

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