Trent Alexander-Arnold has hit back at the critics like Gary Neville who claim he can’t be trusted defensively.
Alexander-Arnold is currently in Qatar with England but has had minimal playing time and may not even have been there were it not for Reece James’ injury.
The 24-year-old has been a stalwart of Liverpool’s team under Jurgen Klopp and is widely considered to be one of the most talented full-backs in world football.
Despite his attacking quality, his defending, or lack of it, is frequently criticised by fans and pundits, but Alexander-Arnold believes their opinions are “lazy”.
Alexander-Arnold told talkSPORT: “It’s the lazy thing to say. People just watch the game and see what they want to see. There’s kind of that prejudice, I believe now. You see what you want to see at the end of the day.
“If you go to watch a game and have a perception that a player is lazy and you see them once not running, then in your mind they’re lazy. You see what you want to see, you don’t see the rest of the game where they’re running around, trying to do their thing.
“I suppose that’s where I feel like I’m judged. People go to games or people watch me play football with a preconception of ‘he’s not a good defender’ or ‘he can’t defend well’, so when I do have that one mistake or that one time someone gets past me, then that confirms what they think.”
Gary Neville is among the pundits to have questioned Alexander-Arnold’s defensive reliability.
Before the World Cup, Neville said: “Playing him as a right wing-back gives you the opportunity to get him into the team, you’d never play him at right-back, I don’t think, in a knockout game for England.”
But the right-back has aslo received gushing praise for his quality, from Brazil legend Cafu for one, who “doesn’t understand” why Gareth Southgate can’t find a place for him in the England team, likening him to former teammate Roberto Carlos.
Speaking on the comparisons, the England star said: “It’s just special to know that people like that see the game in a way that they understand me.
“I feel like sometimes as a player I might be a little bit misunderstood, but to feel like I’ve been understood by them is nice.”