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Irish Mirror
Irish Mirror
Tom Victor

Jamie Carragher's critique of Trent Alexander-Arnold in full as he responds to backlash

As Liverpool suffered a not-entirely-unexpected exit from Europe, Trent Alexander-Arnold bore the brunt of questions from former Reds defender Jamie Carragher.

Most of the damage had been done in the first leg, when Real Madrid came from behind to secure a 5-2 victory at Anfield. It was a quieter affair at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, with Karim Benzema scoring the only goal of the game to ensure the Spaniards' progress.

Carragher accused his fellow home-grown talent of "lacking defensively" after the home and away defeats against the reigning European champions. Here, Mirror Football looks at the pundit's comments in full as he explained his stance both on TV and on social media.

"That can’t continue, what’s happened this season with him and the amount of times he has been lacking defensively," Carragher told CBS Sports. "The problem they have got in that position is that they’ve never had real competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold in that position and one of the reasons why is because he has been so good and you think ‘Who do you buy? How much do you spend for someone who is not really going to play every week?'.

"But I think Liverpool are at the point where they have got to go and buy a right-back. That’s Jurgen Klopp decision in terms of how good that right-back is and how much he costs, but that lad needs serious competition.

"Because he has been playing for five years at the top level, week in, week out, with no rest, and has done absolutely fantastic and won absolutely everything and won more than I could ever dream of. I’m so proud of him - a local lad coming through the ranks - but he needs help. He needs to at the end of this season have a long think about where he is as a right-back, and I’ve always defended him because he’s played in one of the best teams in the world."

Do you agree with Carragher? Have your say in the comments section

The lack of competition for Trent Alexander-Arnold has been a concern (PA)

Carragher responded to a number of fans questioning his stance on Alexander-Arnold. In doing so, he reiterated how the strength of the defender corresponds to the wider Liverpool team.

"If Liverpool are attacking more he’s the best to have in that role, if they defend more he’s not," the 45-year-old argued. "It depends on the quality of the team if his strength or weakness is shown up more.

"You mention what Trent has won, I also do that in the clip & say how proud I am of him & that he has won a lot more than me!" he wrote in a separate tweet. "But does that mean we can never analyse or critique anyone from this team?!!"

Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool have struggled to repeat last season's push for a quadruple (DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

"When you play for one of the best teams in the world, as Liverpool are, you do a lot more attacking than you do defending," Carragher continued in his CBS analysis. "We all know his defending is not good enough and I don’t think it ever will be good enough.

"We’re talking about a player who has played 260 games, it’s not going to massively improve now. So when Liverpool drop off and aren’t one of the best teams in Europe, like they have been for the last four years, now they are one of the pack going for the Champions League.

"Then you're doing more defending, less attacking and you’re seeing the worst traits of Trent and not his strengths going forward. And that is a massive problem.

Jamie Carragher has explained his stance on Liverpool's right-back (@CBSSportsGolazo/Twitter)

"I thought this problem would rear its head when Klopp left and maybe Liverpool drop back to when I was a player and most seasons we'd be trying to qualify for top four. If Liverpool are trying to qualify for the Champions League on a yearly basis, I’m not sure Trent is your man at right-back. If Liverpool get back to being one of the best teams in Europe, which is what they will try and do next season, he is your man. But, right now, the lad needs help.

"Also I do question or think about what are the messages he is getting on a daily basis in terms of his defending. Is it actually highlighted? Do they want more from him?

"Because the lack of intensity when he goes to press and close down is just not there. It’s a million miles away. It has really been shown up this season and I feel it will continue to be shown up until he is given help maybe off the pitch by the staff working on his defending a lot more, or by bringing a right-back in."

"I think we always have this vision of 'is a player good enough?'. Now, when you talk about the top four teams in England, or the top six teams, I always judge someone is good enough when they've won a league or a Champions League.

"That's almost that badge of honour. Those Liverpool players have got that. But once you win that, it doesn't mean you're good enough for the rest of your career because you've had that spell.

"Players peak at different times, you don't think everybody peaks at 28, 29, but everybody's different. So you look at certain players, they have their best years in their early twenties; some players, me in particular, mine was later on in my career, I had to build up to become a better player.

"But right now, some of those Liverpool players have fallen so far away this season from where they have been over those four or five years, you're in that dilemma of 'do we replace them or is this just a bad season?'. And that I think is going through every Liverpool supporter's mind, and certainly Jurgen Klopp's.

"Who do you buy in the summer? It was always thought it was midfield players, but they need defenders as well. Again, it's is this an off-season or is it a decline from individual players who may need replacing?

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