Trent Alexander-Arnold believes Liverpool have fallen into a “trap” laced with complacency which has resulted in their dire run of form.
The Reds were labelled the “bad champions” by Roy Keane at the start of the month. And it’s hard to disagree with the former Manchester United man.
Their drop off from last season has been monumental and they face a fight to finish in the top four this time around.
The Reds were champions last season with 99 points, but after 25 games this campaign they have just 40 points. They trail the leaders Man City by 19 points.
The weekend’s derby defeat to Everton was their fourth consecutive home league defeat – the first time that has happened since 1923.
And Alexander-Arnold thinks the Reds have just expected things to get better.
“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,” he said in the official Liverpool FC matchday programme.
“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.”
Alexander-Arnold finding his rhythm
Alexander-Arnold has been one of many of Jurgen Klopp’s men who have been underperforming. He contracted Covid-19 and then picked up a niggling calf problem. And his creative stats have been well below that of last term.
He did though put in a solid display against Everton and thinks he may be getting back to his best.
“This has been something of a spell of bad form that I haven’t really had before,” he added. “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 season.
“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.”