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Gareth Southgate defends Trent Alexander-Arnold amidst criticism from Man United legends

Published: Updated: 03:01, 17 Jun 2024
Southgate says Trent Arnold himself wants to play as a midfielder for England

England manager, Gareth Southgate, has issued a firm response to critics of Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold. Despite receiving criticism from Manchester United legends and others in the football community, Alexander-Arnold is set to start in midfield for England at Euro 2024.

Manchester United legends Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville and Roy Keane, along with former Everton manager Sam Allardyce have expressed doubts about the capability of the Reds vice-captain playing in midfield for England. These football veterans have questioned whether Alexander-Arnold can effectively perform in what they refer to as 'the engine-room' for the Three Lions.

Southgate shows confidence in his player

In response to these criticisms, particularly those voiced by Wayne Rooney, Southgate has stood firmly behind his player. The Three Lions boss expressed confidence that not only can Alexander-Arnold handle the position but he could also be 'incredibly special' in midfield for his team.

England manager, Gareth Southgate, said:

“Everybody’s more than entitled to opinions, so that’s our world, we have to accept that, then we have to go and show what we can do. I’m really happy. I spoke to Trent about playing in this role over a year ago. It’s something he’s been really keen to do.

“He’s been really receptive to feedback and every bit of information. We know he can be a really special player. Equally, we know it’s not something he’s been doing for the last five years.

“There is an element of the unknown to it. But I think it’s an opportunity that’s worth grasping because he could be something incredibly special.”

Southgate's faith in his player comes as no surprise considering that he has always been known for backing young talent and giving them opportunities on big stages. This decision further cements this reputation.

Euro 2024 is make or break for Southgate

The Euro 2024 campaign is set to kick off with England vs Serbia on Sunday night. Fans are eagerly anticipating seeing how this new formation will play out on field with Trent Alexander-Arnold expected to start alongside Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham.

This match will provide an opportunity not just for fans but also critics alike to see if Southgate’s faith is well placed or misplaced. It will be a test of both skill and strategy as we watch how these players perform under pressure.

Despite criticism from some quarters of the football community, Gareth Southgate remains steadfast in his decision to start Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield for England at Euro 2024. As sports fans and sports betting enthusiasts, we can only wait and watch how this decision unfolds on the field. Will Southgate's faith be rewarded or will the critics have the last laugh? Only time will tell.

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