Scouting the best
In the fast-evolving world of football tactics, Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold stands out as a prime example of adaptability and skill. Drawing inspiration from Manchester City’s John Stones and Rodri, Alexander-Arnold’s transition to a more midfield-oriented role marks a significant tactical evolution in his career.
Alexander-Arnold on His Inspirations
“I think as someone who plays the inverted, hybrid role – I don’t know what people call it these days – then it is obviously John Stones,” says Alexander-Arnold. “He is someone who, for a long time, I have admired. He is exceptional, so I watch him a lot. In clips or even when I am just watching City’s games, I will sit and focus on him. And I admire the way Rodri plays. He is pivotal in that team and someone who is massively underrated, but like we have seen recently, when he is out of the team, they are not the same. That just shows how important he is. I would say it is those kinds of players I watch, but there are a lot. I will watch players from the past as well – Busquets, Alonso, Pirlo, Stevie G, those players I have always enjoyed watching.”
The Impact of Tactical Flexibility
“Quite the cast. But Alexander-Arnold has always aimed high when looking to improve his game, and the impact of being released from the shackles at right-back are obvious. In the 21 games in which the 25-year-old has started in the role, the Reds have won 15 and drawn six. They are yet to lose.” This shift in role has not only contributed to Liverpool’s strong performance but has also showcased Alexander-Arnold’s versatility and strategic understanding of the game.
Analysing the New Role
“Half of the time or 60% of the game, I am playing in midfield so naturally people warm to the idea of me playing in the middle of the pitch. Defensively I haven’t been given the opportunity to know how to play there just yet, but it is something I study. I enjoy learning about the game, watching things, watching players, different systems, different teams, how different players play it and there are some players who play it really well,” explains Alexander-Arnold.
Preparation for Manchester City Clash
As Liverpool gear up for their much-anticipated trip to Manchester City, Alexander-Arnold’s insights into his opponents, especially his study of Stones and Rodri, will be integral. His dedication to understanding and adapting to new roles exemplifies the modern footballer’s need to be versatile and tactically aware.
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s journey from a traditional right-back to a dynamic, midfield role underlines the evolving nature of football positions and the importance of adaptability. His admiration and study of players like John Stones and Rodri, along with past greats, have played a significant role in his development, making him a key player in Liverpool’s tactical arsenal.