Alexander-Arnold’s Liverpool life was like bed of roses – until he had to defend

Trent Alexander-Arnold can start packing his suitcase.

But he won't need his boots, shin pads or England training kit.

All the Liverpool defender will require is some swimming shorts, suncream, good book and a holiday destination that isn't on the Covid-19 red list.

Instead of spending his summer helping England attempt to win the Euros, Alexander-Arnold will be plonked on a beach somewhere wondering when or how it all went wrong.

He might not want to, but he could start by thinking about his performance for Liverpool against Real Madrid in this Champions League quarter final, first leg in the Spanish capital.

Gareth Southgate has come in for some fierce criticism since dropping Alexander-Arnold from his last Three Lions squad.

It was questioned in most places – and caused absolute outrage in the red half of Liverpool.

So Southgate can be forgiven for sitting at home in Harrogate last night with a smug smile on his face as he watched Alexander-Arnold help Jurgen Klopp's men implode against the Spanish giants.

He won't have been, of course, because he's not that sort of bloke. Instead, he will have been concerned (again) at the performance of someone who should have a huge international future ahead of him.

But it took Alexander-Arnold just one half of miserable football to prove what most people should now think, despite being unable to admit it – that Alexander-Arnold's defending is nowhere near good enough at the highest level.

Life was like a bed of roses for the right back when Klopp's side were rampaging forward and trouncing teams for fun.

That's all well and good, but his priorities are to stop goals. Creating them is just an added bonus.

His first touch was a hopeless misplaced pass behind Andy Robertson and into touch, before Ferland Mendy skipped past him to set up Real's first chance of the game for Vinicius Junior.

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  • Alexander-Arnold was then left wading through treacle as Vinicius sprinted past him and Nat Phillips to fire Real ahead.

    Half time couldn't come fast enough. Well, not fast enough to prevent Alexander-Arnold from plunging new depths with a defensive header straight into the path of Marco Asensio on 36 minutes for him to double Real's lead.

    It was more of an assist, to be fair.

    Having had a kick up the backside from Southgate, Alexander-Arnold got that same behind spanked last night. Which might be a problem – because he's be sitting on it for most of the close season.

    READ MORE:Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold 'ripped to shreds' after howler against Real Madrid

    READ MORE:Liverpool's disastrous starting XI after 'throwing in the towel' vs Real Madrid

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