John Giles has claimed that Trent Alexander-Arnold is a ‘disaster’ when defending for Liverpool, as he told Off The Ball.
The ex-Leeds and Man United player claimed that the Liverpool right-back is ‘absolutely brilliant’ when on the front foot, but when going back, he seemingly ‘doesn’t even think’ about defending.
Many would consider Alexander-Arnold to be the best full-back in world football today.
Not many can argue against him, other than the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Joao Cancelo, Achraf Hakimi and Reece James.
But one dark cloud that has always lingered above TAA, is the defensive side of his game.
And Giles made it clear that he just doesn’t like what he sees when Alexander-Arnold has to put his defensive cap on.
“Alexander-Arnold, he is absolutely brilliant going forward,” said Giles. “And Robertson is quite good as well, but he is better defensively.
“But I think Alexander-Arnold is a disaster defensively. I don’t think he even thinks about defending.
“Now, going forward, he is like an extra man, his distribution is good and he will get a few goals. And his free-kick was brilliant the other day.
“But I always believe that fullbacks are fullbacks and the main thing you want from them is to defend well. I think even with Alexander-Arnold, they concede more goals than he creates. But he is a brilliant player.”
What needs to be remembered is that Jurgen Klopp’s system is focused on the fullbacks acting like wingers.
Therefore, they are always on the front foot, leaving big spaces behind them and will, from a positional sense, be out of place when defending, which doesn’t look good if you don’t understand the system.
That doesn’t help matters and makes it that more difficult when the likes of TAA and Andy Robertson are having to dart back.
Perhaps, when Alexander-Arnold is one-v-one, he can deal with situations a lot better, but he does more than enough going forward in order for him to be a little off when going back.