Jamie Carragher has made a dramatic U-turn over his support for Trent Alexander-Arnold after criticising the Liverpool star’s performance against Real Madrid.
It was only on Monday night the pundit was hailing Alexander-Arnold as a “unique talent” and a “playmaker” and felt he should be a shoe-in for England’s squad at the Euros this coming summer.
But just 24 hours later and Carragher was questioning the 22-year-old’s approach to defending after he endured a pretty torrid evening against Madrid’s attackers.
Alexander-Arnold made a glaring error for Madrid’s second goal as Liverpool fell to a 3-1 defeat in Spain, leaving Carragher to explain where he was going wrong in the defensive side of his game.
“He’s in position, he is one v one defending,” Carragher said on CBS Sports, as he demonstrated with colleague Alex Scott. “He comes out (to close down the attacker) and there’s no bend in the leg.
“So, basically when you go out there (and you’re low with a bend in your leg), you are low and you try and go past me then I can push off.
“I can push forward. I can go this way (left) and I can go that way (right). And you defend properly. I always see him stood like that (up straight). You cannot change direction.
“So, he doesn’t have that intensity in his legs and the focus to defend. This guy is not going to go past me. It’s like he feels like defending is not his job. [That he] should be on the ball.”
The Reds’ right-back had a dismal opening period of the game before Madrid took the lead through a superb direct goal from Vinicius Jr.
It was then that Alexander-Arnold’s horror moment occurred as his headed back pass went straight to Marcos Asensio, who lifted the ball over Alisson to double Madrid’s advantage.
Vinicius was up against Alexander-Arnold down his flank and ended the match with two goals to his name when he fired a shot low through the legs of Nat Phillips in the second half after Mohamed Salah had reduced the deficit.
But Alexander-Arnold’s display was the main talking point in a week where his England future has been heavily debated.
“I can understand when people say he’s out of position because he’s going forward,” Carragher added. “But when you’re there that’s got nothing to do with ‘I’m an attacking full-back, I don’t have to do this’.
“He’s not out of position, he’s in position – now he’s got to defend, and he’s got to make it difficult against top wingers at this level.”