Gareth Southgate has backed Jurgen Klopp following the Liverpool manager’s anger surrounding the refusal to allow five subs in the Premier League – and the ludicrously packed fixture schedule.
England are about to play three fixtures in two weeks – one of which is a friendly – which in our opinion, is barbarically stupid – especially when you consider the fact we’re still in a global pandemic and these games require players to fly to and from all corners of the world.
After the Manchester City game on Sunday, Klopp sent for football’s authorities for a lack of care towards the players.
Liverpool have now seen 14 first-teamers injured already – and it’s the worst crisis of any side we can remember in recent history.
Southgate, on the back of Joe Gomez’s likely season-ending injury, has claimed that there was no communication in the summer about how the season should go in 2020/21.
“With Joe, we knew the load he has had in the past six weeks or so,” Southgate told the Telegraph. “We gave him and the other players who had been in European matches who played Sunday, an extra day’s recovery. Yet still something like this has happened.
“There are lots of discussions about extra subs. But the bigger picture here is, everybody in the game needs to work together.
“There was an opportunity this year to think differently. The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of difficulties for people. But everybody has tried to cram the programme into a smaller period.
“We are going to see injuries. It’s a desperately sad situation. When you see the impact on an individual, it hits home even more.
“A lot of these discussions should have happened in the summer. We could have adjusted the calendar in its entirety and all worked together. But people haven’t done that.”
We’re angry, and we can imagine Klopp is, too.
All he’ll be doing now is crossing his fingers – and everything else – that his players return from international duty at least half fit.
Fit enough for our crunch Premier League clash against Leicester City, anyway.
We’d like to be talking about football and not just injuries. After all – our results this term have largely been good despite our horrendous luck – but the footballing Gods and its incompetent organisers – are making it hard.