🔴 EOTK Insider Opinion: Trent will never win with England while Gareth Southgate is manager 🚫
Gareth Southgate doesn't seem to know what to do with Trent Alexander-Arnold
There will have been none more delighted by Trent Alexander-Arnold’s poor start to the 2022/23 campaign than Gareth Southgate ahead of the Qatar World Cup.
The England boss has often favoured the likes of Kyle Walker and Reece James to the Liverpool fullback, despite the latter being arguably the leading right-back in world football on his day.
After years of struggling to know what exactly to do with the 23-year-old, with a prior experiment in midfield failing miserably, the former Middlesbrough boss can now finally go ‘aha! Look - I was right all along!’
As mixed as our opening section of the season has been, however, we can say with absolute certainty that our No.66 will improve after the international break.
The glaring lack of an assist across all competitions this term (in nine appearances) will be addressed before the World Cup - you can bet on it.
Even though Trent’s performances haven’t merited a starting slot with the Three Lions - a reality that will suit Jürgen Klopp just fine given Liverpool’s troubled relationship with injuries and the England national side - he still has every right to feel aggrieved by a total lack of faith in his abilities.
Let’s bear in mind that Southgate’s job is under immense pressure to put things right, with England chasing a first win in five games and being yet to score a goal in open play from 495 minutes worth of action.
Image courtesy of Sky Sports
With that in mind, why on earth would you continue to ignore arguably the most creative option England have at their disposal?
We’ll keep coming back to Trent’s drop-off in form this season but then what was the excuse for the last few when he was dominating on the pitch?
Danny Mills would have us believe it’s down to his lack of positional versatility but we simply can’t fathom why anyone would want to take the Academy graduate out of a position that he’s not only revolutionised but also one in which he has no rival (again, on his day).
Even should Alexander-Arnold showcase his best form after the international break, you’d have to say his chances of earning a good chunk of minutes for the national side in Qatar (should he win a call-up) are somewhat slim.
At this point it’s difficult to think of what he can do to curry favour with Three Lions’ head coach.
Unless he can squeeze himself neatly into a midfield role, we can’t see the Liverpool fullback impressing Southgate any time soon and it’s becoming increasingly clear that this will remain the case whilst the Watford-born manager remains in the England hotseat.
That’ll suit us just fine, though it’s a HUGE loss for England.