Leeds 1 – 6 Liverpool. Alexander-Arnold in Midfield: IT HAS BEGUN

Estimated read time 4 min read

So it finally happened.

While there’s multiple positive things to talk about, let’s discuss the most noteworthy item:

Trent Alexander-Arnold played in midfield. Technically, he was a right-back on paper (as usual), but it it was evident right off the bat, what was happening: he kept occupying the midfield area on the right side. And boy, was it successful.

Sure, it’s only one game, and Leeds are in God-awful form, but a sight to behold nonetheless.

The same reason that fans argued he shouldn’t ever play midfield because:

a) His defensive short-comings would be just as fatal, if not more, in the midfield where you have to be even more aware of what’s behind you.

b) Gareth Southgate tried it one game and it didn’t work.

Well, Jurgen Klopp just tried it one game and it DID work.

True, one game is a ridiculous sample size, but I’ve always thought it was worth trying. Especially when we are hurting in midfield the most.

Jim Beglin, commentating in this game, had an interesting quote. Something to the effect of “Maybe Trent Alexander-Arnold can save Liverpool $100 million+ in midfield”. He’s obviously referring to Jude Bellingham. The key was, Konate would cover and be the effective right back. Also, Trent was never left alone in midfield.

People have said he wouldn’t have the same room/space on the pitch to make those long, defense splitting passes like he does from Right Back. That never made sense to me. Beckham played midfield (in the latter stages of his career), didn’t seem to stop him from doing his trade-mark crossing.

While it took such extreme despair in a frustrating, thankless season for Klopp to finally try TAA in midfield, I’m glad it happened. Judging from the results of this game, I hope it happens again.

Random thoughts:

  • While this was another destruction, similar to the Man U game, it didn’t feel nearly as thrilling. I think I felt more relief than anything after the third goal (right after Leeds cut the deficit to 2-1), and the best part was the variety of scorers, nobody more important than….

  • Diogo Jota! He’s back (scoring)! He’s the one guy I wanted to score more than anyone, and for him to get two is just delightful. His second goal stunned me. Upon replay, it was off his shin, which, if anything, is even more impressive. Placed perfectly, and the way it ping-ponged from one post to the other made me jump.

  • Luis Diaz! He’s back (playing)! What a sight for sore eyes. I couldn’t pick him out easily on the field with his long, grown hair. Diaz scoring would be the only thing to make this game even sweeter.

  • Thiago! He’s back (from another short term injury). I missed his passes. They look poetic. Even when they’re off, they just aesthetically look good.

  • The more Liverpool was running up the score line, the more puzzling it was in terms of consistency…you just don’t know what to expect. It would surprise no one if we draw to Forest at home next game. Inconsistency has been the only consistent thing about Liverpool this year.

  • I saw a hunger and pressing from Liverpool, to the last second of stoppage time, that I have yet to see this season. Sure, there was the Man U game, but I think that’s easier just because of the opposition. You need no motivation in a Liverpool-United game.

  • Gakpo is looking better and better each game in that central striker role. He really is the new Firmino. When I saw him in the World Cup and he shone for Netherlands, I had no idea how good his technical ability is.

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