‘Impressive’ Alexander-Arnold praised for not sh*tting in soiled Liverpool shorts v Newcastle

Editor F365
Trent Alexander-Arnold struggles to deal with Anthony Gordon
Trent Alexander-Arnold was apparently good against Newcastle

No fair person could have seen Trent Alexander-Arnold struggle against Newcastle and used the words ‘impressive’ or ‘understated’. Enter the Liverpool Echo.


Trent pegs
Mediawatch did not think it was possible to watch Trent Alexander-Arnold’s 90 disorderly minutes against Newcastle and conclude it was anything other than sub-optimal at the absolute best.

But that was to underestimate the unrivalled ability of the Liverpool Echo to find the red lining to any cloud, no matter how dark or daunting.

‘Truth about Trent Alexander-Arnold performance vs Newcastle clear after major Jurgen Klopp decision,’ seems like a simple enough headline. The ‘truth about Trent Alexander-Arnold performance vs Newcastle’ is ‘clear’: he was pretty rubbish. Certainly Liverpool’s worst player.

The Echo thankfully do not sidestep that particular aspect of his display, noting a ‘far-from-ideal start’ which included: a booking and possible second yellow card within the first six minutes; an error which led directly to the concession of a goal; the moment he was dribbled past in the build-up to Virgil van Dijk’s red card; and a general schooling handed out by Anthony Gordon.

‘It wouldn’t have been at all unjust for the 24-year-old to have been hooked in place of Joe Gomez,’ it says here. Quite right.

Yet that is somehow not the ‘truth’ at hand. Instead, the fact Alexander-Arnold managed to play the rest of the game in shorts he spent the opening half an hour soiling is used as a way to praise him.

‘Impressive was the way in which Alexander-Arnold had not only galvanised himself but the rest of his team-mates with an exemplary, rather understated performance,’ we are told.

‘Understated’ is one way of saying he made one tackle, no interceptions and no blocks in over an hour as captain. ‘Impressive’ is one way of saying it was his clearing header which Miguel Almiron forced a phenomenal save from, his inability to stop Joelinton which set up another Almiron chance at 1-0, his inadvertent pass in his own area which set up yet another Almiron shot at 1-1, and his awful attempt at an offside trap which created the two-on-one attacking opportunity Harvey Barnes wasted late on instead of setting up Callum Wilson.

But Alexander-Arnold did cheer loudly in front of the away fans in stoppage time after winning a throw-in, so these things cancel themselves out.

Indeed, that emphasised exactly why Klopp had jumped at the opportunity to fast-track the full-back to become Van Dijk’s right-hand man ahead of the more experienced heads of Andy Robertson, Alisson Becker and Salah

If that performance proved Klopp right over making Alexander-Arnold vice-captain then good lord, it doesn’t bear thinking about what one showing he was wrong would have looked like.

The Echo can pretend all they want that Alexander-Arnold ‘personified’ the ‘resilience’ of Liverpool and that ‘if this was the full rehearsal to repay his manager’s faith in his fast-tracked decision, then this could – while not the most impressive – prove to be one of the most defining of his 295 outings for Liverpool to date’. But that is perhaps more damning than they realise.

Only Van Dijk and Wataru Endo received worse player ratings in the Echo than Alexander-Arnold, of whom the biggest compliment that could be paid then was that he ‘kept going second half and improved’. It would have been difficult not to after that first half but to pretend he was anything other than detrimental overall to Liverpool’s hopes of winning that game is nonsense. And that is the ‘truth’.

READ MORE16 Conclusions on Newcastle 1-2 Liverpool: Nunez, Gordon, Alexander-Arnold, Howe, Van Dijk and…


Truth hurts
On that subject, the Echo have certainly discovered a new favourite phrase:

‘Joelinton avoided punishment for breaking new rule vs Liverpool as truth about Newcastle fouling emerges’

‘Darwin Nunez taunts Newcastle fans as truth emerges about picture of Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp’

It turns out that Newcastle foul a lot and a fairly obviously Photoshopped picture was Photoshopped. Who knew?

Newcastle coaches Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe applaud the fans after losing to Liverpool
Jason Tindall and Eddie Howe lost to Liverpool again


Ty break
Manchester United want a left-back. Their two established first-team options are injured, Alvaro Fernandez is inexperienced and Diogo Dalot is used far more often on the other side.

Marc Cucurella makes sense as one reported target: a short-term, emergency means to an end.

But Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News believes that Erik ten Hag’s search for ‘a specialist addition’ in the position is ‘hardly a ringing endorsement for his first signing Tyrell Malacia’.

‘Going off Ten Hag’s sketchy timeframe that Malacia is out for a few more weeks, he should be available for some of United’s five fixtures in September,’ Luckhurst writes. ‘Eyeing up a Spanish left-back suggests there is little faith in Malacia, who reported for pre-season injured.’

Well ‘a few more weeks’ is vague enough not to draw any definitive conclusions on how long that might be. Ten Hag never mentioned September and indeed gave no specific schedule on purpose; he either doesn’t know how long Malacia’s injury will sideline him, or would rather not say. Knee ligament injuries are never particularly straightforward.

But no, Ten Hag looking for another left-back, with first-choice Luke Shaw ruled out until around November, means he thinks Malacia is rubbish. Which does beg the question why the Dutch defender ranked 10th for most Manchester United minutes last season, above Raphael Varane and many others, with only Fred named in more matchday squads.

‘Malacia had a purple patch at the start of his United career but he has since looked like the Eredivisie back-up he is,’ Luckhurst concludes of a player who was signed as a back-up, has been fine as a back-up and is now getting flak for being no more than a back-up.


Like we did last summer
‘OOPS! BBC mistakenly use footage of Man City icon Zabaleta in Rubiales package as story takes latest bizarre twist’ – Daily Mirror website.

A really stupid error definitely doesn’t qualify as a ‘latest bizarre twist’.


Day dreaming
‘Arsenal midfielder Jorginho is spotted at Notting Hill Carnival as he poses for video with fans the day after disappointing draw with Fulham’ – MailOnline.

What, no block capitals? How is anyone meant to know whether we should be outraged or not?