Could Trent Alexander-Arnold’s travails at Liverpool be helped by stepping inside into midfield as the full-back role evolves?
One of the easiest and most misleading pieces of footballing received wisdom is that everything is cyclical. Wait long enough, the great drum of history will revolve again and the same ideas will come back round, be that sharp side-partings, the back three, Howard Webb apologising to Brighton or Roy Hodgson managing Crystal Palace. Except time is not a flat circle. Each iteration is different because it comes with knowledge of what went before.
Watch Manchester City in possession. They have a centre-forward and two wide men. They have Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva or Ilkay Gündogan as “free 8s”, essentially old-fashioned inside-forwards. They like to have five outfielders behind the ball, who will usually form a trapezoid shape: a line of three defenders and two deep-lying midfielders. Show that to Herbert Chapman and, while he may think City could be a little more direct, he would understand what he was seeing. This is essentially a W-M.
Written by Jonathan Wilson
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2023/apr/15/wing-half-full-back-trent-alexander-arnold-liverpool under the title “Maybe it’s time to welcome back the old fashioned wing-half – in modern guise | Jonathan Wilson”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.