Kieran Trippier ahead of Trent Alexander-Arnold, says Gareth Southgate – BLTSPORT15

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Trent Alexander-Arnold watched England’s 3-3 draw with Germany at Wembley on Monday from the stands

World Cup 2022
Venue: Qatar Dates: Sunday, 20 November – Sunday, 18 December Coverage: Live on BBC TV, BBC Radio 5 Live, iPlayer and the BBC Sport website and app
England boss Gareth Southgate feels Trent Alexander-Arnold’s “all-round game” is behind that of right-back rival Kieran Trippier.

The Liverpool full-back was left out of Monday’s 3-3 Nations League draw with Germany, and Southgate said he explained the situation to him.

Chelsea’s Reece James started the game with Newcastle’s Trippier on the bench.

“I’ve had long conversations with all of them [who have been left out],” Southgate said.

“The other night [against Italy], we didn’t need the left-back cover. Against Germany we did because of the way we went with the team so we needed Chilly [Ben Chilwell] on the bench and we had Kieran who, at the moment, I feel his all-round game is ahead [of Alexander-Arnold].”

Alexander-Arnold has been a key player for a Liverpool side that have won the Premier League and Champions League in recent years but he has struggled to transfer that form to international football and has won just 17 caps since his 2018 debut.

As well as Alexander-Arnold’s role for England, another topic of discussion has been Harry Maguire’s selection, despite his poor form at Manchester United.

The centre-back, who started against Germany, gave away a penalty for the visitors’ opener and was dispossessed in the move that led to their second goal.

“I know everybody says he’s important to me, he’s important to us,” Southgate said. “It’s us, it’s not me.

“Why do we pick him? Because he’s one of the players who gives us the best chance of winning.

“So, really, we should all be wanting a Harry Maguire that’s playing regularly and playing with confidence.

“That applies to, of course, quite a few players but he’s the one that everything lands on, which must be a tough space for him, really, but he’s showing tremendous character.”

Southgate’s loyalty to his players has been criticised following a run of six matches without a win and Nations League relegation.

But he has been praised for turning the England shirt into a “cape rather than a straitjacket” by the manager of World Cup opponents USA.

Southgate led England to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final.

“Gareth has done a great job of helping the players cope with pressure,” US boss Gregg Berhalter said.

“Actually using the jersey as a cape rather than a straitjacket and really giving them the freedom to play on the field, giving them the idea that they can represent their country in a positive way and make the country proud.”

Despite England’s poor recent run of form, which included a 4-0 defeat at home to Hungary, Berhalter is sure the Euro 2020 runners-up are capable of mounting a challenge in Qatar.

“I think we all agree they have a squad that can win the World Cup,” he said.

England kick off their World Cup campaign in Group B against Iran on 21 November, before matches against USA (25 November) and Wales (29 November).

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