‘Focus on the opinions that matter’, Trent Alexander-Arnold says when talking about criticism and abuse on social media.
The Liverpool defender has seen online hate hurt his family.
Gareth Southgate excluded Alexander-Arnold from his England team. And while his Liverpool coach Jurgen Klopp thought he deserved a spot in the national squad, online trolls didn’t.
Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League final in Kiev. And this season, Liverpool lost the first leg 3-1 to Real (second leg: 0-0) because of some errors of Alexander-Arnold.
Immediately, online fans started making memes which implied Southgate’s exclusion of the Reds defender was justified.
Such a force of destructive criticism desolated his parents, which in turn, made him sentimental too.
The Defender Defends Himself
Now, finally, Alexander-Arnold has hinted that opinions online do impact footballers, but only if they let them.
“As people, I think in general we want to impress as many people as possible – it’s just in our nature,” the player told The Independent.
“But it can be unproductive, especially when it comes to the game, because only your team knows what was demanded of you in specific matches and situations and how you did it.”
He has spoken out about the negative criticism and abuses he faced online and how to deal with them.
He tells The Independent reporter Melissa Reddy why there are only two opinions in football that truly matter to him.
“The best advice I’ve ever received, and that I can give, is to focus on the opinions that really matter,” Trent Alexander-Arnold told Reddy.
He specified: “I play for two teams and, in fact, only two people really make decisions relating to me: Jurgen Klopp and Gareth Southgate.
“So, in football, those are the only two opinions that matter hugely because it affects whether I play or not,” he then elaborated.
The defender posed questions like: “If a million people think I shouldn’t play but Jurgen thinks I should, who has more power? If a million people think I should be selected for the England team and Gareth doesn’t, I won’t make the team.”
“It’s a case of it coming down to who has the power to let me play or not, and my play influencing their decisions,” he concluded.