FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Thursday, June 20, 2024: England's Trent Alexander-Arnold on the bench after being substituted during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match between Denmark and England at the Waldstadion. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“This is on the manager” – Media criticise Trent Alexander-Arnold’s England role

Opinion in the media was divided over Trent Alexander-Arnold‘s performance in England’s 1-1 draw against Denmark at Euro 2024.

Despite England getting no better after his exit in the 54th minute, Alexander-Arnold still came under the microscope from many in the press after England’s soporific display in Frankfurt.

Being played in midfield by Gareth Southgate, the Liverpool man created three chances, more than any other England player before coming off for a second consecutive match.

Of course it wasn’t a stellar performance by England’s No. 8, but neither was he the worst player on the pitch.

Here’s how the media reacted to Alexander-Arnold’s performance in England’s 1-1 draw against Denmark.

FRANKFURT, GERMANY - Thursday, June 20, 2024: England's Trent Alexander-Arnold after the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match between Denmark and England at the Waldstadion. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)


Jonathan Northcroft of the Times saw the benefits of Alexander-Arnold:

“He made an inauspicious start. His first pass was over-ambitious and cut out by Victor Kristiansen, and then he was nutmegged by Morten Hjulmand.

“But soon he settled, and was important to England’s brilliant start to the game, dropping off to his right to close the ‘inside left’ half-space where Eriksen likes to work and helping execute England’s in-possession tactic of stretching the pitch, through some lovely switches of play.”

Meanwhile, Phil McNulty of BBC Sport had similar feelings, apportioning the blame at Southgate’s feet:

“Alexander-Arnold must not be used as scapegoat, a fig leaf to cover up the malaise that has overcome England under Southgate since they took the lead against Serbia in their opening game.

“This is on the manager as much, if not more, than the player who is being used out of position.”

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - Sunday, June 16, 2024: England's Trent Alexander-Arnold during the UEFA Euro 2024 Group C match between Serbia and England at the Arena AufSchalke. England won 1-0. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Jacob Steinberg of the Guardian was less balanced, as he gave a scathing review of Alexander-Arnold’s performance and rated him at 4 out of 10:

“The vanity project is not working. No control, no awareness, bypassed too easily. Unsurprisingly substituted early.”

Like Steinberg, Kieran Jackson of the Independent felt the Liverpool man was poor and rated him 5 out of 10:

“Two games in, the TAA midfield experiment has not worked. A few heavy touches early on and next to nothing in terms of creativity. Hooked just after half-time, it’d be a surprise if he started against Slovenia.”

Rating his performance at 4 out of 10, journalist Malik Ouzia of Evening Standard also questioned Trent’s midfield credentials:

“A tough evening. Loose in possession and his lack of experience in midfield told with some dreadful positioning off the ball. Far too deep. Time up on the experiment?”

Richard Martin of GOAL gave him a 5 out of 10 and questioned his position in the team:

“Another display which underlined the risks of playing him in midfield. Lost the ball five times before being the first England player to come off.”

The four points England have accrued is almost certainly already enough to see them through the group, and it would be no surprise to see Alexander-Arnold drop out for their final group match.