Lovren’s angry ‘p*issed off’ comments surely ruin his Euro 2016 dream

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Dejan Lovren’s latest comments are likely to jeopardise his position in Croatia’s squad for this summer’s Euros, goal reports.

During the last international break, Lovren was publicly criticised by his national manager Ante Cacic for supposedly choosing to end his warmup early and return to the bench – ignoring the instructions of the boss.

But our centre-back has now told his side of the story, and intimated that unless he’s provided a guarantee that he’ll start for Croatia, he won’t get on the plane at all.

“I will not apologize, I will either travel to France as a starting player or I am not going,” the centre-back fired to Sportske novosti.

“I always get mad when papers publish half-truths. So, the fitness coach told me to go warm-up for 10-15 minutes. I said OK and went to warm up. After 15 minutes passed, I stayed there for a while, but it was cold and I had no jacket so I returned to the bench.
“Then the fitness coach came to me again asking ‘Why did you sit back?’. I told him my warming up of 10-15 minutes is finished. And he went to Cacic to tell him that…

“Look, no coach in the world does such warming-ups, in Liverpool after 15 minutes of warming up you either enter the pitch or return to the bench.”

“I was told I would play the second half in Budapest. I was ready and also, the coach said we will all get a chance. And I didn’t. I don’t want to lie: I was pissed off,” he said.

“And Darijo Srna came in, although 2 hours before the match he told Cacic he couldn’t play. I don’t want to look arrogant but Cacic told me I would play for 45 minutes and I didn’t. Also, Corluka and me didn’t play together in 4 man defence during test matches for Euro. We played in 3-5-2 vs Israel.

“It was not good because we never played that way before. I suppose we will play four men at the back at the Euros, so my guess is you have to play that in friendly matches. And how was I supposed to play well in a 3-5-2 if I can’t remember ever playing that?!”

There’s no way Cacic, a manager with a hard-nosed, no-nonsense reputation, will let these comments slide. Lovren clearly feels he’s in the right, but his reaction will be seen as a disrespectful attack, and in many ways, it is.
While the situation is disappointing for the player individually, it might be beneficial to Liverpool. If he is banished from the Croatia squad, Lovren will have a longer pre-season with Liverpool, and get to start training alongside new signing Joel Matip – his potential 2016/17 centre-back partner – for longer.
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