Fabio Aurelio column: Trent's tactical tweak and what Anfield is really like for a player

AnalysisFabio Aurelio column: Trent's tactical tweak and what Anfield is really like for a player



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Fabio Aurelio analyses Trent Alexander-Arnold's tactical tweak and describes the true impact Anfield can have on players in his latest Liverpoolfc.com column.

I found it fascinating to see the positions Trent Alexander-Arnold took up in Sunday's draw with Arsenal.

Jürgen Klopp said Alexander-Arnold was part of a 'double No.6' in build-up play, like an inverted full-back when in possession. He certainly helped change the direction of the game as a result.

I know what it's like to make that switch in position. Obviously I was a full-back by nature but I played as a winger sometimes, and I did find myself as a No.6 on the odd occasion at Valencia under Rafael Benitez and at Sao Paulo.

I have to say, I enjoyed my time as a defensive midfielder as it helped me grow as a player. You had to manage different situations on the pitch that you're just not used to.

You have to learn a lot of new things as well because you have more pressure from opponents from everywhere on the pitch. You can struggle receiving the ball on your back, for example, because it's something totally different, so that's not easy.

Though when you've got the ball, you have more passing opportunities and chances to hurt the opponent. So Trent's able to demonstrate his incredible range of passing even more in that role.

As simple as it sounds, it's sometimes just nice to be doing something different on the pitch. That's why I quite enjoyed playing in different roles. When you play other roles, you feel a bit more 'free'.

Trent is a special player and still so young. I feel he'd have an impact on a game in whatever position he plays. I love watching him.

Against Arsenal, Klopp was adapting the quality of his players to the circumstances of the game and maybe catch Arsenal off guard. It worked after a difficult start in the game.

It's going to be interesting to see whether we see more of him in that hybrid role going forward.

What Anfield is really like as a player

It's really hard to describe but there's just something totally unique about Anfield that can make strange things happen in matches.

I had the chance to feel Anfield as an opponent when my Valencia team came in 2002. But thankfully most of my experience at the ground was as a Liverpool player. I can tell you, it really makes a difference. A massive difference.

That unrivalled noise gives you more energy, confidence and belief that the result you're looking for will come – even in the last seconds. But it works both ways – you have to show the people your desire and doing things right.

I've talked to my friends who played against us at Anfield, they all say it's just an unbelievably hard atmosphere to face, one of the most difficult in world football. Until the last second, you can expect anything.

Like we saw against Arsenal, the crowd can help transform the performance of the players wearing red shirts. Those going through the turnstiles should know just how important they can be between now and the end of the season.

  • Inside Anfield: View new footage from Liverpool 2-2 Arsenal

A word on my old mate Lucas Leiva

I remember when he first arrived at Liverpool, at the start of my second season, like it was yesterday.

I can't imagine how difficult it must've been for him to adapt, coming straight from Brazil at such a young age. Thankfully, I had experience of playing in Europe before arriving.

He was the only player I saw in my entire career that completely changed people's opinion about him. Through work, talent and his personality, he managed to become a player the fans loved after a difficult start.

It was a shame he had to retire in such circumstances but it's after such a great career with Liverpool, Lazio and Gremio. I can't articulate better than Jürgen did but Lucas is a great person and I wish him all the best in whatever he goes on to do.

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Shane Jude: Who were your favourite players growing up?

Hi Shane. Thanks for your question. I grew up a Sao Paulo fan and watched a great team in the '90s. I absolutely loved Leonardo, who was recently sporting director at Paris Saint-Germain. He was a left full-back that often played as a midfielder as well. I remember after he won the World Cup in 1994, it was one of the first times I was called up for Brazil U15s and he and Jorginho turned up at the training ground to speak to us. That was a moment that inspired me even more. I had the chance to tell him about that story when I became a professional footballer.

Cyrus Drasiku: What's your best memory at Liverpool?

It's impossible to beat the week where we beat Real Madrid in the Champions League and then Manchester United at Old Trafford, and I scored one of the goals. That week was so special and it stays with me.

Barry: Who was your favourite player to play with at Liverpool?

I'm sorry but you probably know the answer, Barry! It has to be Steven Gerrard – not only the best player I played with at Liverpool but in my career. Every day he showed his quality. He really was a true leader. He was a brilliant captain because he led more by example than by talking.

Thanks for reading.

Until next time,


Aurelio was speaking to Liverpoolfc.com's Glenn Price



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