Trent Alexander-Arnold gives mature response to Gary Neville's comments on Gareth Southgate 'not trusting' him
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Trent Alexander-Arnold gave a mature response to being asked about claims he won't be trusted for big knockout fixtures at the World Cup.
The Liverpool right-back was picked by Gareth Southgate for his 26-man squad, following up his inclusion in 2018 in Russia.
The Premier League winner hasn't quite got going on the international stage just yet and former England right-back Gary Neville feared he would not get the nod for this tournament in Qatar.
While Alexander-Arnold is capable of brilliance going forward, Neville didn't have confidence in the 24-year-old featuring in a crunch World Cup clash due to him being prone to "rash things" in defensive situations.
“He does rash things. In a World Cup, there would have been a penalty against him today and in a second phase or a quarter-final, he’s given a goal away," Neville said on Sky Sports after Liverpool's win away at Spurs, where Alexander-Arnold bundled over Ryan Sessegnon.
“I don’t think Gareth will trust him in a knockout game, which means will he then take him?”
With Reece James and Ben Chilwell both out through injury, Alexander-Arnold did get the call.
He was asked about those comments by Gabriel Clarke in a sit-down interview and explained he believes he performs better in the "bigger games" when the pressure is on.
“I can only go off the knockout games I’ve played in," he said.
“I think looking back on the ones I’ve played in, the big games, the big moments in football, and I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of them.
“I think I’ve performed and stepped up to the plate very well. I’ve handled that pressure.
“I like to play with that pressure and I think, for me, the bigger games, the ones that mean the most, they’re the ones that bring the best out of me.”
So much has been made of Alexander-Arnold's defending, with Neville even giving him a lesson in how to improve that area of his game.
In the same interview, Alexander-Arnold discussed the criticism he's received and thinks there's a bigger onus on the occasions he's not defended well.
"I would say there’s been a lot of spotlight on it,” he explained, giving a mature response.
“I’d say there’s been a massive magnifying glass on that aspect of my game.
“I would say for me, like any part of my game, I think there’s improvements to be made. There’re decisions that I could have made better. There are instances where I could have defended a lot better.
“But at the same time I think there have been instances where I’ve defended really well.
“I think a lot of people like to shout about the mistakes and the ones that I could have done better on rather than the ones I have defended well on."
Very tricky question handled well by Trent. pic.twitter.com/5RpLXzdhVD— The Anfield Talk (@TheAnfieldTalk) November 20, 2022
In the opener against Iran, Kieran Trippier was afforded a start at right-back ahead of Alexander-Arnold, with Kyle Walker still not fully fit.