Jamie Carragher believes the added pressure on Liverpool’s defense this season has exposed the failings of Trent Alexander-Arnold, and that he needs some real competition at Anfield.
Liverpool have now conceded more goals in all competitions in 2022/23 than they had in all of last season, despite reaching the FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League finals and playing 23 more games.
They came out of the latter with another loss on Wednesday night, losing 1-0 at Real Madrid to move on to a 6-2 aggregate victory for the reigning European champions. It was a night when Alexander-Arnold was beaten by Vinicius Junior, who would play a big part in Karim Benzema’s game-winning goal.
Former Liverpool defender and sky sports said expert Jamie Carragher CBS that Liverpool’s slump in their pressing game, a factor that has been widely criticized in their poor season to date, had left the likes of Alexander-Arnold exposed and exposed shortcomings in their defensive play.
He said: “Where is he at the moment, and I’ve always defended him, as he’s played for one of the best teams in the world, and when you do that, you attack a lot more than you defend.
“We all know his defense isn’t good enough. I don’t think it’s ever going to be good enough. We’re talking about a guy who played 260 games. He’s not going to get much better now.”
“When Liverpool falls and they are not one of the best teams in Europe, as they have been for the last four years, now they are one of those who are going for the Champions League. So you are defending more and attacking less. You are seeing the worst Trent’s traits, and not his future strengths.
“I thought this problem would come up when Klopp left, and maybe Liverpool went back when I was a player, where most seasons we would be trying to qualify in the top four.
“If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League every year, I’m not sure Trent is your man. If Liverpool go back to being one of the best teams in Europe, he’s your man. But, right now The boy needs help.
“I question myself or think about what are the messages that he gets on a daily basis, about his defense. Do they want more from him? The lack of intensity when he’s going to press and finish isn’t there. He’s a million miles away.” , and he has shown himself this season.
“I think he will continue to show himself until he gets help, maybe off the pitch from the staff who work a lot more on his defence, or they bring in a right-back.”
Carragher believes that help should come in the form of defensive reinforcements. Alexander-Arnold has played in 250 of Liverpool’s 322 official matches since the start of 2017/18, his first full season in the first-team squad, with midfielder James Milner his only regular makeshift substitute in the side. right.
That, Carragher said, has left Liverpool without a Plan B amid a difficult season for the Reds, whose only focus now is qualifying for next season’s Champions League with two months left in the campaign.
“The problem they have is they’ve never had any real competition at that position for Trent,” he said. “One of the reasons is because he’s been so good. So you think, who do you buy? How much do you spend? For someone who’s not going to play every week.”
“At the point Liverpool are at now, they have to go and buy a right-back. That’s Jurgen Klopp’s decision in terms of how good that right-back is, how much it costs. That lad needs some serious competition. He has been playing now for five years at the highest level, week after week, without a break.
“That’s going through the minds of every Liverpool supporter, and Klopp too. Who do you buy in the summer? It always felt like it was the midfielders, but also the defenders. Is this an offseason or a decline in individual? players who may need to be replaced”.