Hasselbaink’s expertise could prove useful for England – Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold hopes former Netherlands international Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s knowledge will prove “useful” as the England assistant coach looks to help down the Dutch in Wednesday’s Euro 2024 semi-final.

The former Leeds, Chelsea and Middlesbrough striker has been part of Gareth Southgate’s coaching set-up since March 2023 and was lauded for his role in Saturday’s quarter-final shoot-out win against Switzerland.

England star Jude Bellingham praised assistant coach Hasselbaink for his penalty nous after a triumph that set up a Euro 2024 semi-final against his homeland in Dortmund this Wednesday.

Asked if the ex-Netherlands striker would give England any particular pointers, Alexander-Arnold said: “I am not sure.

“I am sure he will have input with the manager and with Steve (Holland) with the messages they give across to us but the knowledge he has will be useful.

“Of course, and anything we can use to help us win the game, we need to do.

“Obviously he was a top player when he was playing so he knows the game, he understands the game, he can relate to us as players.

“He knows the pressures and everything that comes with being a footballer and in tournament football too, so he is good to have around.

“He works a lot with the attacking players, more than anyone, helps us with the penalties and things so he is a great addition to the backroom staff.”

Alexander-Arnold says England coach Hasselbaink has been a “great addition to us”, helping to coordinate penalty practice that Phil Foden was quick to praise.

“Jimmy’s been working hard with us to do penalties after training in case it goes to a shoot-out,” the forward told BBC Radio 5 Live. “They were just full of confidence and slotted them away.

“Jimmy’s got a lot of experience in the game, he knows his stuff. He’s been taking a few of us after training to practice penalties.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (second left) during England training
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (second left) has been helping the England squad with penalties (Adam Davy/PA)

“I feel like when I first came into the England side, we were maybe practicing them too much and there wasn’t really (a coach) taking them.

“Now we have Jimmy for that reason to only take a couple, not overdo it. Practice your spot where you put it and stick with it. There’s a lot of work that goes into it off the field.

“I feel like we’ve got the balance just right now. It does help that we’ve got some of the best penalty-takers in the world like Ivan (Toney) and Cole (Palmer), who never look like missing.

“I don’t feel like it is a lottery. We put the time and effort in. We don’t want to make it a lottery, we want to have that extra one or two per cent in our favour.”

Luke Shaw echoed his England team-mates’ praise of Hasselbaink, who has managed Antwerp, QPR, Northampton and Burton on two occasions.

“He’s been bringing everything,” the left-back told Monday’s press conference in Blankenhain. “He’s been really good, really positive.

“He’s been doing stuff in training with the strikers, taking some of the training.

“I’m not going to go into too much detail on what he does, but we’re all really happy with Jimmy and he helps not just the strikers, but a lot of the lads and also has the advice from what he’s done in the game to pass on.

“He brings a lot of laughs, that’s just the way. He’s very confident. He likes a little bit of a joke and he brings the positive energy around the camp and makes people smile.”

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