Skip to main content

Sven-Goran Eriksson Explains How He Would Solve England's Right-Back Conundrum

Sven-Goran Eriksson believes that Kyle Walker and Trent Alexander-Arnold are England's two best options at right-back.

Gareth Southgate has picked four right-backs in his latest England squad for the upcoming Nations League games against Italy and Germany.

As well as Manchester City star Walker and Liverpool's Alexander-Arnold, Southgate has Chelsea's Reece James and Newcastle's Kieran Trippier as options.

The topic of who should start for England in the no.2 position has been widely debated but Eriksson thinks there are two standout candidates.

Eriksson would play Alexander-Arnold in games where England are expected to dominate but would select Walker when a more defensive approach was needed.

Trent Alexander-Arnold pictured in action for Liverpool against West Ham in March 2022

Trent Alexander-Arnold pictured in action for Liverpool

"I guess I'd start with Alexander-Arnold or Kyle Walker," he told BoyleSports. "One of them.

"Trent is a fantastic attacker of course, great crosses and a great right foot, extremely good right foot.

"As a defender he's not the best in the world but of course if you play for Liverpool, attacking, attacking, they maybe don't need that.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

"I think it very much depends who the opponent is. For example Brazil, where you will probably not have the ball as much, maybe then you put in one who is stronger defensively."

Eriksson was England manager at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.

His preferred choice at right-back was always Manchester United's Gary Neville.

But Neville missed the 2002 World Cup with a broken foot, so Danny Mills stood in.

Sven-Goran Eriksson pictured in 2002 during his time as England manager

Sven-Goran Eriksson pictured in 2002 during his time as England manager

Eriksen believes that Southgate is lucky to have so much strength in depth.

He added: "It's incredible how many good right-backs there are, you could almost close your eyes and pick one name.

"I remember during my time we had Gary Neville, or on the other side Ashley Cole, if they were not available it created a problem.

"But here if one or two right-backs are not available, you can easily put one in."