Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold 'doesn't know what to do' in England midfield - World Cup winner

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold ‘doesn’t know what to do’ in England’s midfield, according to France World Cup winner Emmanuel Petit. 

Alexander-Arnold, 25, has been selected as the Three Lions’ preferred partner for Declan Rice in the England engine room for Euro 2024. 

The homegrown superstar played around 70 minutes of the opening group stage game against Serbia on Sunday night - a game ultimately won 1-0 by England courtesy of a Jude Bellingham goal

Alexander-Arnold earned mixed reviews for his outing in midfield, spreading the play well but also being caught out on a couple of occasions in possession of the ball. 

The England No.8 will have to learn on the job with group matches approaching against Denmark and Slovenia. 

Petit, who scored for France in the 1998 World Cup final against Brazil, claims Trent is being misused by England manager Gareth Southgate and added his worries over the side’s prospects in the tournament with the former defender at the helm. 

Petit 'not impressed' by Trent Alexander-Arnold

“Trent Alexander-Arnold, I was not impressed by his game,” Petit told talkSPORT.

“When I look at him, he is lost on the pitch. He doesn't know what to do tactically, and when he gets the ball, but he is not the only one.”

Trent's selection in midfield has been a major point of contention, with Kobbie Mainoo and Conor Gallagher overlooked in favour of the Reds' right back moving into the centre of the pitch.

On England’s unconvincing opening day win over Serbia, Petit hit out at the team over their lack of composure in the second half. 

Petit: Is Southgate going to change midfield?

“England played very well in the first half but the second half, I didn’t recognise them,” he said. “They lost composure and confidence.

“I’m not sure about the balance of the team right now, especially in the midfield so we will see what Southgate does in the second game.

Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold for England.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - JUNE 3: Trent Alexander-Arnold of England celebrates after scoring goal 2-0 during the International Friendly, Länderspiel, Nationalmannschaft match between England and Bosnia & Herzegovina at St James Park on June 3, 2024 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Photo by Will Palmer/SPP Will Palmer/SPP PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxBRAxMEX Copyright: xWillxPalmer/SPPx spp-en-WiPa-RC4_WPA_ENGxBOS_03jun2024_SP-9095

“Southgate needs to think about the tactics for the next game and the first eleven. Is he going to change the midfield? I don’t get it.

”Physically, they dropped so much in the second half, I saw very good players losing composure with the ball in the second half. I don’t know the explanation. Those players can do much better than that.”

Petit: Does Southgate know his best XI?

Petit went further, suggesting that Southgate hasn't got the tactical nous to get the best out of the players at his disposal.

“When you play at the highest level like this, sometimes managers have a big impact on the players but sometimes, they don’t have any impact.

“I’m not saying Southgate doesn’t have any impact on his players but those England players know how to win competitions and I’m just worried about Southgate.

“Sometimes I have the feeling that he doesn’t know what he is doing with the team in terms of tactics.

“He is putting players in different positions with different tactics and that restricts the players.

“Does he know his best eleven? I’m just questioning myself about that.”

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