Nathaniel Phillips has extensively described the role Trent Alexander-Arnold played in adapting to the demands of the Liverpool first team.
The 2-0 win over Sheffield United last Sunday was center-back Phillips’ eighth Premier League appearance of the season. Except for one of these games, Alexander-Arnold was immediately deployed to his right.
So the couple developed a strong understanding, with Phillips explaining that his colleague, the academy graduate, offered a lot of advice and support than him initially stepped aside at the beginning of the campaign.
« Definitely I would say, especially if it was my first game, » Phillips told Liverpoolfc.com when asked about the continuity of playing alongside Alexander-Arnold and if the right-back speaks to him a lot during the games.
« Obviously Trent was in that position a few years ago and knows what it is like. I think he probably settled into me and helped me talk .
« I think as we played together more and more and got used to being next to each other, communication became smoother. In some cases, in those moments of communication, we may not need to say so much because at this moment of the game he may know what I am going to tell him as soon as I say his name instead of having to give the order and vice versa. «
We caught up with Phillips before the Reds clash with Chelsea at Anfield. Read on for more of our interview with the defender …
Nat, we saw photos and footage from Tuesday’s practice and it looked like a very good one happy session. How much did that win against Sheffield United improve the mood in the squad?
I think it was a massive boost and we needed it, I really think everything about the game, the fact that we have our chances Missed and conceded a goal we have a lot to look forward to. We just need to incorporate that into the future games.
Feel like you are at both the Premier level League as well as the very special requirements that this Liverpool team has to play in the central defender are up to date?
So I would say. I would say that with every game I have played, I have gained more confidence and comfort at this level. At the same time, every game I’ve played there has taken something personally out of lessons and things that I need to work on and identified things that I may need to improve to keep moving forward.
What is the process when you identify these areas for improvement? Are you talking to the manager and his trainers and / or the analysts?
A mix really. Even speaking to other players – other players could bring up things during the game or after or at halftime and give you some advice. But I’ve always been one to look back on my own accomplishments and identify things that I feel need to get better at, or moments in a game where I may have done something wrong or, in general, I can just be better just to try to smooth out my overall performance. Whether this is something I can see for myself and know what to do when I have been watching the game for years and playing the game for years, or something that I may have with the manager, the coaching staff, or others To talk to players. I’ll just take it as it comes.
You started out next to Ozan Kabak on Bramall Lane for the first time. How was that and would you welcome the chance to build a partnership with him now?
I have the feeling we worked well together. Of course, if it’s a new partnership, you’ll learn how the other might play at work. We trained together so I had an idea before the game, it wasn’t like it was brand new and I saw him play so I had an idea how he was playing [and] he had an idea how i played. But playing side by side at this moment will give you a better idea and I think it’s always good to develop relationships on the pitch with whoever you’re playing with, certainly as a center-back. It would be good to have the opportunity and move forward together.
Chelsea is next. It will be a great test against a team in good shape under their new boss Thomas Tuchel …
Yes, it will be. But every game in the Premier League is a big test and we need to proceed just like all of our games with the aim of performing well and winning and hopefully a clean hand to defend. As I said after the Sheffield game, build on that and keep taking our risks. But it’s going to be a big test.
It may have been a step forward, two steps back recently that lacked consistency. So how important is it to prove last Sunday’s victory with another three points?
I think it would be massive for us and certainly to get rid of the idea or habit of “one step forward, two steps back” – this phase To leave behind and to be able to build on our achievements and develop a certain consistency.
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