Vincius Jr. ran Trent Alexander-Arnold ragged for Real Madrid on Wednesday night, prompting Jamie Carragher to discuss the right-back’s position in the Liverpool team.
While Liverpool began to control the Brazilian in the second half, Vinicius Jr. caused ample trouble before the break, and not for the first time against the Reds.
The man faced with the difficult task of managing the winger was Alexander-Arnold, who was playing against the 22-year-old for the fifth time in his career.
Football is a team game and sometimes we oversimplify the game. Defending the winger is the job of more than just Alexander-Arnold, however, Vincius proved time and again that he could beat the full-back in multiple ways.
After the match, Carragher highlighted the weak point in Trent’s game and caused a strong reaction with his analysis.
Speaking on CBS Sports, Carragher said: “If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I’m not sure Trent is your man at right back.”
The former Liverpool defender’s words, though, were taken out of context by several aggregator accounts on social media.
Here’s what Carra really said:
“When you play for one of the best teams in the world, which Liveprool are, you do a lot more attacking than you do defending.
“We all know his defending is not good enough and I don’t think it will ever be good enough…
“Liverpool have dropped off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been the last four years.
“Now they’re one of the pack going for the Champions League, you’re doing more defending and less attacking. You’re seeing the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward…
“If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I’m not sure Trent is your man at right back.
“If Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe, which they will hope to do next season, then he is your man!”
Carragher went on to suggest some reasons as to why Alexander-Arnold’s performances have dropped off along with his teammates.
“That lad needs serious competition,” the television pundit said.
“He needs help and he needs to, at the end of this season, have a long think about where he is as a right-back.
“The intensity when he goes to press and close down is just not there. It’s a million miles away and it’s really been shown up this season.”
"If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the #UCL on a yearly basis, I am not sure Trent is your man at right back…"@carra23 says Trent Alexander-Arnold needs help or another right-back must come in at Liverpool. ? pic.twitter.com/lQOSGGf2j9
— CBS Sports Golazo ?? (@CBSSportsGolazo) March 15, 2023
Whether you agree or disagree with Carragher, it’s always better to know the context behind his thoughts.
In terms of competition for places, Alexander-Arnold broke into the side ahead of Nathaniel Clyne, in 2016, and has had few rivals since. James Milner has generally been the Reds’ backup right-back since Joe Gomez moved into the middle of defence.
Calvin Ramsay was brought in from Aberdeen last summer but the youngster has had an injury-laden first year on Merseyside and is currently out after undergoing knee surgery in February.