NAPLES, ITALY - Wednesday, September 7, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 1 game between SSC Napoli and Liverpool FC at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I just don’t get it” – Klopp exasperated over criticism of Trent’s defending

Jurgen Klopp has not hidden his frustration over the continued calls that Trent Alexander-Arnold cannot defend throughout the years, and it remains the same after his England omission.

From a Liverpool perspective, Alexander-Arnold having a break from match action after sitting on the bench and in the stands for England in the latest internationals was a welcome boost.

For the player himself, it will have come as a disappointment with Gareth Southgate looking elsewhere in defence in what was the final break before World Cup selection.

Quite the web of emotions as Reds will be the first to say Alexander-Arnold ought to be a certain starter, his career at Liverpool leaves one with little alternative.

England's Trent Alexander-Arnold during a training session at the FC Bayern Campus, Munich. Picture date: Monday June 6, 2022.

But that’s not how Southgate has seen it and Klopp was respectful in response when asked about Alexander-Arnold’s time with England, but did say from “my point of view, it’s an easy pick.”

The stick that the No. 66 is readily beaten with is his defending, and the Liverpool manager was not eager to entertain the notion once more, leaving him exasperated and saying “I just don’t get it.”

“We as a unit did not defend well [this season], defending is an art because everything has to work together,” Klopp told reporters.

“Trent didn’t do well in these moments as well, but in other moments he defended exceptionally well – but for him and his situation, nobody mentions it.

“I’m not dumb, I would talk and work the whole day with him about it to be the best but now we come to a point.

“If you judge a player you think of his overall package, and the skillset he has for being influential in possession is mad for a right-back!

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 13, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold shoots during the UEFA Champions League Group A matchday 2 game between Liverpool FC and AFC Ajax at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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

“He’s an outstanding footballer in a situation where three other right-backs in this country are doing really well, we should not forget that.

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

“That’s the way we play football, now they say ‘defend better’, you cannot have everything. 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 one moment where we don’t win [the ball], people ask where is Trent?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 27, 2022: Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold (L) celebrates after scoring setting-up the sixth goal during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and AFC Bournemouth at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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

“Every player in the league has these challenges but all the experts [say] ‘this situation you see it is a weakness’.

“Honestly, I just don’t get it. I don’t get that part of it that we just accept a world-class talent gets judged by the one thing he is not as world-class as he is in other things.

“If he would not be a good defender he would not play.

“He’s involved in everything, that’s absolutely fine and he is doing well.

“But, again, it’s no criticism on anybody, we all have our different ideas and match plans – if that doesn’t fit to England then that’s it, we cannot change it.”

Is right, Jurgen.