The Reds defender believes collective standards have dropped in 2020-21 as Jurgen Klopp’s side have become accustomed to having things their own way
Trent Alexander-Arnold admits Liverpool have fallen into the “trap” this season of expecting to win, given how successful they have been in recent times, with a disappointing title defence put down to collective failings.
The Reds brought a 30-year wait for title glory to a close in record-breaking style during the 2019-20 campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s side were expected to establish a new dynasty at Anfield, but injury struggles have conspired against the men from Merseyside and they have already had to throw in the towel after hitting a number of lows that have contributed towards them sitting sixth in the Premier League table.
What has been said?
Trying to explain a humbling tumble from the loftiest of perches, Alexander-Arnold told the Reds’ official matchday programme: “The trap we have probably fallen into this season is that we’ve almost expected to win games on some occasions because we know we have the quality to find that goal from somewhere.
“That happened naturally last season and the season before. But, breaking it down, it didn’t just happen because we were lucky – it happened because we were still working hard, we were doing the basics and the fundamentals right until the very last minute and that really worked in our favour.
“The fact that we were still doing those things meant that we would still create the right opportunities and we wouldn’t be forcing passes, but we’d still stick to our way and would create something we could score from.
“I think this season we’ve maybe forgotten a few of those fundamentals and we’ve kind of just expected to do that because it became so natural for us.”
How many games have Liverpool lost this season?
Klopp watched his side suffer a first Merseyside derby defeat at Anfield since 1999 in their last Premier League outing, with Everton heading back across Stanley Park with a 2-0 win.
The Reds have now lost seven of their 25 top-flight games this season.
They have suffered four consecutive defeats on home soil for the first time since 1923, while a run of four Premier League losses in a row represents the club’s worst run since 2002.
How has Alexander-Arnold fared?
A highly-rated product of the Anfield academy system is among those to have endured a noticeable wobble this season, with the 22-year-old – who has seen ball retention become his biggest concern – facing uncomfortable questions for the first time in what has been a meteoric rise to prominence.
He accepts those critics, adding: “This has been something of a spell of bad form that I haven’t really had before. It’s always been quite good in the past, so this is new.
“But I set targets and levels and have expectations of myself. If I don’t meet them then I’m not happy and when I do meet them, then I am.
“I haven’t been able to meet them this season but there’s still a long way to go and during the last few games I’ve felt better, felt a bit more in rhythm, been able to create things for the team and feel like I have been in the last few seasons.
“But the individual side doesn’t matter as much to me as winning games. You have 38 games in a season so there are still many more to come.”