It hasn’t been the easiest time recently for Trent Alexander-Arnold.
After getting left out of the England squad, it feels like his every touch is scrutinised. He had a very tough night midweek in the Champions League against Real Madrid, though he was hardly alone in that.
Yesterday’s Premier League win over Aston Villa was as strong a performance he’s given in a little while. He rampaged down the right flank as a vital attacking cog before scoring a real screamer to win the game right at the death.
His colleague James Milner was very complimentary.
“[Trent] had a disappointment with the England squad and things like that,” Milner told the official Liverpool site, “but shown how he has bounced back. It was one of those games where we just had to find a way to win, so delighted for him.
“He easily could have been out on the wing and not wanting to get involved. He picked up that little pocket, inside-right in the midfield. It came to him after that and what a finish. He has shown his quality again as always, a great attitude.
“All the boys really. We needed a reaction at half-time and [to] find a way second half. It’s not the greatest Liverpool performance ever at Anfield but it was an important one.
“In a way, I think that will do us more good than if we came out and played really well – that fight, determination, find a way, battling and dig in for each other. I’m delighted with that win.”
Speaking of the game in general, the midfielder explained that “it was an important win, but how we won was important. We haven’t been at our best this season, we know that.
“We’ve shown our best over the last month, six weeks or so, but the consistency hasn’t been there. It hasn’t been every game. That’s football, it’s not an easy game.
“I think it’s easy to get caught up in the last few years how good we’ve been and making it look easy – it’s not. Once you’re on that roll it’s easy but when things aren’t going for you the decisions go against you, you get injuries and you just have to stick it out.
Ultimately we all know what Trent can do with the ball at his feet. It’s just about keeping his head up and not letting the pressure get to him. With good experienced figures like Milner around, he should be just fine.