Met immediately with questions about Gareth Southgate’s lack of faith in Trent Alexander-Arnold (despite some costly and somewhat funny errors by England defenders not named Alexander-Arnold over the international break), Jürgen Klopp immediately attempted to quell any hint of drama while emphasizing his disagreement with Southgate’s assessment.
When asked to speak on the issue, Klopp was pointed in his suggestion that headlines suggesting any sort of row would only harm England in the long run:
Do we really want to open this box? You are English journalists and we cannot discuss selections until the World Cup starts.
This is why you make massive things of this. My honest opinion would create headlines. You want that? It would maybe help Germany but it wouldn’t help England.
I have a lot of things to say but I don’t think it makes sense.
During the press conference, the Liverpool boss made an effort to characterize the situation as a mere differing managerial opinion, albeit a firm one:
We are fine here, it’s completely different. I see Trent differently, that’s clear.
People talk about [Alexander-Arnold] not being a good defender, that’s not true, he is a good defender, he doesn’t always defend good, that’s true.He’s 23. We’re working on it.
Whatever team I would have at the moment, I would pick Trent. He is exceptional.
England are blessed with players in this position. Reece James can play 3 at the back, did that well for Chelsea.
It’s Gareth’s decision. He made it. I see it different. Doesn’t mean [there’s a] right/wrong.
Klopp further emphasized the element that he was most concerned with: the impact such things have on his own player, and thus on the squad:
Trent came back not in a party mood but he accepts the manager’s decision because he is extremely bright.
The manager decides and more often than not here it is the case he is picked. It’s clear, he’s a world-class player.
From his comments it is clear that Klopp believes in Alexander-Arnold, and is most concerned with making sure he feels this confidence in his ability while at Liverpool — and hopefully ignores this “difference of opinion” beyond both of their control.