Today marked something of a milestone for Liverpool, with Gareth Southgate announcing an England squad for the upcoming international break that contains a grand total of zero (0, nil, none) Liverpool players in it.
If you feel like this is something that has never happened before, that’s because it hasn’t (don’t fact check me on that). And while some of that zero (0, nil, none) is down to injuries, there’s at least one striking omission.
Namely, Trent Alexander-Arnold, who’s fit and appears to have played himself back into solid form over the past month after a difficult stretch for the young right back. Southgate, though, says he hasn’t been impressed.
“There are some areas of the pitch we have some incredible competition for places,” noted the frequently bevested England boss. “Trent is unfortunate, but I don’t think he has played at the level of the last couple of years.
“I think he is getting very close that now. In the last few weeks, he has definitely taken steps in the right direction. It’s simply that Reece James and Kieran Tripper have had exceptional seasons and Kyle Walker is in great form.”
Some Liverpool fans are viewing it as a significant snub, and at the very least it does seem a rather odd choice by Southgate as even an out of form Alexander-Arnold is arguably England’s best choice at the position.
Still, we’re less inclined to worry about snubs or oversights or odd England managerial decisions and more inclined to pop the bubbly. Because in this exhausting, injury-plagued season a break is better than more football.
Getting to stay home, get a little down time and a few training sessions in, rather than having to face San Marino, Albania, and Poland—with the middle game set for the Qemal Stafa stadium in Tirana—is a good thing.