Art critique

Klopp baffled by Alexander-Arnold criticism – Liverpool click

Jurgen Klopp admits he struggles to understand Trent Alexander-Arnold’s ‘world-class’ criticism.

Alexander-Arnold’s England hopes have suffered a blow after the right-back was overlooked by Gareth Southgate for their Nations League double header.

The 23-year-old was an unused substitute in the Three Lions’ standoff with Italy and was omitted from the matchday squad against Germany three days later.

But Klopp is baffled by the level of scrutiny the Liverpool defender is facing, although he admits he can still improve in some areas.

He said: “We as a unit didn’t defend well [this season]. Defending is an art because everything has to work together

“Trent didn’t do well in those moments either, but at other times he defended exceptionally well – but for him and his situation, nobody mentions that.

“I’m not stupid, I would talk and work with him all day to be the best but now we’re coming to a point.

“If you judge a player, you think about his overall package, and the skills he has to be influential in possession are crazy for a right-back.

“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a right-back like this, where you think passing here and there, changing sides, crossing, free-kicks, corners, smart and quick decisions.

“He’s an exceptional footballer in a situation where three other right-backs in this country are doing very well, that shouldn’t be forgotten.

“We have the way we play, in our high press, very often Trent is the highest of the three at the back.

“That’s how we play football, now they say ‘defend better’, you can’t have it all. If you want to press you have to have players in certain positions.

“It’s a risk we take, it’s not a crazy risk but in the only moment when we don’t win [the ball]people ask ‘where is Trent?’

“That’s a question I don’t understand, everyone who watches football so often and for so long why would you say then ‘this is his main job? – I told him he had to be there [in high press].

“Every player in the league has these challenges, but every expert [say] ‘this situation you see is a weakness’. Honestly, I don’t understand.

“I don’t understand that we just accept that a world-class talent is judged by the one thing that he’s not as world-class as he is in other things.

“If he wasn’t a good defender, he wouldn’t be playing. He’s involved in everything, it’s very good and he’s fine.

“But, again, that’s not a criticism of anyone, we all have our different ideas and game plans. If it doesn’t suit England then that’s it, we can’t change it. .