Aug 22, 2018
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Liverpool: Why Trent Alexander-Arnold can again up the hype

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Liverpool: Why Trent Alexander-Arnold can again up the hype

Trent Alexander-Arnold confronted Cristiano Ronaldo in a Champions League ultimate by the age of 19

A Champions League ultimate and a World Cup look at 19 years outdated – Trent Alexander-Arnold is doing huge issues at a younger age.

So what’s it in regards to the Liverpool teenager that has obtained everybody excited?

The boy who grew up simply minutes away from Liverpool’s coaching floor and has been on the membership because the age of six has already made 47 first-team appearances, in addition to representing England at all ages group from under-16s upwards.

His promising expertise was on show in Liverpool’s first two Premier League video games towards West Ham and Crystal Palace this season – however can he change into top-of-the-line gamers the membership has produced?

A worry of failure, a rising maturity and a powerful understanding of the sport are among the many qualities which have helped him change into Jurgen Klopp’s right-back within the Liverpool supervisor’s first-choice staff.

Right here, BBC Sport takes a more in-depth take a look at his attributes and mentality with perception from his former academy coach Neil Critchley.

Transferring on from the participant who ‘kicks off’

It did not at all times go Alexander-Arnold’s means. He was vulnerable to bursts of frustration as a younger participant and was “fairly arduous on himself”, such was his need to win.

“He may very well be tough at occasions,” Critchley instructed BBC Sport. “He would get annoyed and sulk, get his head down.

“He confirmed immaturity at occasions if he wasn’t performing the way in which he wished or the staff weren’t – in the event that they had been shedding for instance.”

These suits of frustration threatened to carry Alexander-Arnold again.

Some of the stark examples occurred in 2016 when, after enjoying “very effectively” towards Nottingham Forest for Liverpool’s under-18s in 2016, he had a “disastrous recreation” towards Manchester Metropolis just some days later for the under-23s as he tailored to a brand new position as a right-back.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ‘unbelievable journey’

“It was in all probability the worst recreation he has ever had,” stated Critchley. “I went to observe him and he kicked off. It was a automobile crash. That summed up the place he was at in that second. It was about him needing to change into extra constant.”

Final season might have gone the identical means. He struggled towards Marcus Rashford away at Manchester United in March and was given a hard time by Crystal Palace simply over per week later.

However two months after that he was beginning within the Champions League ultimate and saved Cristiano Ronaldo at bay, having handled Manchester Metropolis’s Leroy Sane within the quarter-finals. Was {that a} signal he had tempered the mood?

“By the top of final season he had matured and realized from his errors,” stated Critchley. “However that was as a result of he was allowed to develop and acquire consistency.

“He had these video games the place he saved Sane comparatively quiet over the 180 minutes and I assumed he performed exceptionally effectively. He then obtained his World Cup name on the again of that.

“He’ll wish to play for Liverpool for the following 10-15 years and it’s important to attempt to get higher.”

‘The worry that drives him’

Alexander-Arnold was considered one of two Liverpool gamers named in England’s World Cup squad in the summertime – midfielder Jordan Henderson was additionally included

A part of Alexander-Arnold’s psychological power comes from a “hungry” angle and a worry of being changed within the aspect.

There may be now actual competitors for locations at Liverpool – their summer season spending of virtually £170m is proof the membership can entice a number of the world’s finest expertise – and team-mates Joe Gomez and Nathaniel Clyne are different robust choices at right-back.

“He had an inside drive that he saved effectively hidden,” stated Critchley. “He had that ‘I am going to present you and I’ll show you improper’ angle. He was a very targeted and pushed boy.

“Clearly he has the flexibility however he will get his head down and does his work. He’ll at all times have that worry that somebody will come and take his place. That worry drives him to be higher.”

Alexander-Arnold nonetheless lives together with his mother and father so is continually reminded of his upbringing as he adopted within the footsteps of his idol Steven Gerrard as a born and bred Liverpudlian “dwelling the dream”.

“His mother and father, his upbringing – all of it goes into the pot. He has been developed in a very good setting. It’s nice for him to offer youthful gamers of the longer term some hope there’s a pathway into Liverpool’s first staff. He was an area boy, enjoying within the metropolis and he had these desires. They’ll come true.

“He ought to thank his mother and father each day. Being the individual he’s makes him the footballer he’s,” added Critchley.

Alexander-Arnold’s stats in all competitions in 2017/18
Appearances (begins) 33 (30)
Minutes performed 2,652
Objectives 3
Assists 2
Possibilities created 32
Profitable crosses from open play 19
Tackles gained 43/67
Interceptions 53
Profitable dribbles 30/65
Blocks 7

Understanding of the sport

Gerrard wrote in his autobiography that Alexander-Arnold had “all of the attributes you want” after seeing him captain Liverpool’s under-18s.

He has since advanced into one of many Premier League’s most promising right-backs, with a passing vary few 19-year-olds share due to his background as a midfielder.

Alexander-Arnold accomplished 17 profitable crosses from open play in final season’s Premier League and created 25 goalscoring probabilities – greater than Liverpool’s reverse full-back Andrew Robertson.

He additionally made 53 interceptions within the final marketing campaign – displaying a powerful understanding of the sport – and is entrusted with a lot of Liverpool’s set-pieces after producing a variety of harmful deliveries.

The largest stage seems to be no drawback both – reaching an 89% cross accuracy on his World Cup debut towards Belgium and being handed the identical set-piece accountability by England supervisor Gareth Southgate in solely his second cap.

“No matter place he performs, that’s one other string to his bow. He sees the sport when he’s on the pitch. He might find yourself enjoying in midfield however why not be the most effective right-back that Liverpool has ever produced?” stated Critchley.

“Or go on to play in your nation in so many video games and be often called top-of-the-line right-backs on this planet. That’s what he can be making an attempt to do.”

Alexander-Arnold made 26 profitable crosses from corners and free-kicks in all competitions final season

BBC Sport – Football
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