Southampton 4 – 4 Liverpool – PL Man of the Match
Trent Alexander Arnold
This young man is sure to have an interesting summer ahead, with a fair chance of becoming a regular within England’s midfield. Gareth Southgate appears to have backtracked on many of his previous decisions, with a clear eagerness at having been given a tantalizing option in his relatively threadbare midfield group. You could imagine a 4-2-3-1 system being incorporated, that would see Trent & Declan Rice in a double pivot, with Jude Bellingham operating just ahead of them. With so much potential with his creative vision, to imagine our wonderful number 66 in that position for the Three Lions, is an interesting thought. Watch this space England fans…
For this game against relegated Southampton, the LFC team sheet was torn up and reworked to add a good amount of sentiment and loyalty. The current attacking patterns of play seem solely hinged upon the direct nature of TAA, with his desire to drive balls into dangerous areas. The back four looked completely shorn of direction, with both Virgil & Ibou taken out of the final game of the season. In the leadership stakes, there wasn’t too much about the pitch, as well as Fabinho and James Milner looked desperately slow. The key for this game should have been about ensuring good coverage for our hybrid midfielder, for those moments when Saints would inevitably break free. It would be easy to point the finger at our 24-year-old fullback, with one first half goal seeing him outmanoeuvred. That agenda would be wrong, however, as the system is constantly demanding a more expansive outlook from today’s man of the match.
This was a game that was always going to see poor moments of defending, with the 20th placed team taking on the second-string backline of a team prone to giving up big chances. The big chances are often thwarted by our giant Brazilian, so today was a good game to appreciate not having him between the sticks.
Our 18-cap defender/midfielder was still able to take much of our possession in his stride, with both a hockey and a straight assist within a good overall performance. There were key moments where he was able to deliver exceptional service from wide, before moving back into the middle to oversee and orchestrate the next Liverpool attack.
If we are to take anything from this torrid season of disappointment, it would be the rise of Curtis Jones and the potential evolution of Trent Alexander Arnold. We have to make sure that the summer recruiting can allow the surrounding system to benefit the world class abilities of our local hero, who is clearly going to become a huge part of next seasons continuing regeneration period.
This was another ugly game, that was in keeping with how we have commonly delivered this year. There were clearly bright sparks and flashes of what we can be, yet the deficiencies of our squad were the highlight of our inconsistent game. Trent was able to drag and drive his team forward, which does at least bode well for what he can become next year.
Trent Alexander-Arnold finishes the 2022/23 Premier League season with 9 assists – more than any other defender.
He finished the season strongly with 7 assists and 1 goal in the last 10 matches of the campaign.
It was an up and down season but he finished strongly 👏 pic.twitter.com/GU2Qlr40AV
— LFC Stats (@LFCData) May 28, 2023