Liverpool and England right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold has dismissed criticism of his defending, insisting he is judged unfairly compared to other players in his position.
Gareth Southgate’s limited use of Alexander-Arnold in the build-up to the World Cup reignited the debate about his defensive abilities, and the Liverpool man didn’t help himself with a handful of suspect performances at club level heading into the tournament.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has regularly come out in defence of Alexander-Arnold and the right-back has now offered his own response to his doubters.
“I think it’s come to a point where it’s the lazy opinion, it’s the lazy thing to say,” he told talkSPORT. “People who kind of just watch the game and see what they want to see, there’s that prejudice I believe now.
“You see what you want to see at the end of the day. If you’re going to a game and you have a perception that a player’s lazy and you see him once not running then in your mind he’s lazy. You don’t see the rest of the game where they’re running around, sprinting around.
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“I suppose that’s where I feel like I’m judged with people going to games or people watch me play football with a preconception of ‘he’s not a good defender’ or ‘he can’t defend well’ so when I do have that one mistake or that one time someone gets past me then that confirms what they think.
“At times it feels like it doesn’t matter how well I do because if I’m not perfect then it’s not good enough and I’m held to standards that potentially other players aren’t held to, but that’s life. You’ve got to get on with it.”
Alexander-Arnold is yet to start a game for England at the World Cup, having fallen behind Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker. He managed half an hour in the Three Lions’ victory over Wales, replacing Walker on what was the Manchester City man’s return from a groin injury.