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Gareth Southgate admits club 'pressure' in light of Jurgen Klopp complaints

Gareth Southgate has given his side of the issue in light of complaints from Jurgen Klopp. The England boss says there is new pressure at international level.

Gareth Southgate and Jurgen Klopp are on the same side from completely different angles. Both believe there is far too much football.

Klopp made headlines with his words. The Liverpool boss talked about how the next three months are ‘December’ – the last month of the year is usually the most packed but now every month is.

He’s also called for five substitutes and hit out at some very poor scheduling decisions. Klopp believes all are leading to injured players.

Which brings us to Southgate’s perception. The England boss actually predicted this situation back in September and has always supported changes to deal with the huge demand on players.

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Just yesterday, in fact, Southgate backed Klopp’s calls for five subs. But he says things are damaging international football.

“The players want to play for England,” he said, per Sky Sports. “They are in a really difficult situation. They are under huge pressure from their clubs. That is going on in the background, for sure. It manifests itself in different ways but that is what happens.

“In terms of the managers there’s a power game the whole time – whether that is phone calls, messages, press conferences, we know everything that goes on. Everybody is inevitably going to fight their own corner.”

What RTK has to say

It’s a very tough situation. International football is just as valid as club football and neither is at fault – especially the managers of each.

No one can possibly blame them for ‘fighting their own corner’.

The real problem is that the people asking for all the games have done next to nothing to adapt. No new substitution rule, no winter break, same number of international games, same number of competitions – we could go on.

Everything is the same, just packed into an impossible schedule.

That will lead to injuries. Simple as that. Players have trained their entire lives to work an intense schedule but they’re simply not built for this. No one is.

There are perfectly valid reasons for not wanting five subs in a game. It does, unquestionably, benefit the richest teams with the deepest squads. Bringing it in would widen the gap between the poorest and the richest further – we don’t doubt that.

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But change something else, then. Schedule games further apart, stagger gamedays if you have to. If UEFA want the Euros at the end of the year, they probably shouldn’t have had the Nations League as normal – it was one or the other.

Yes, some people and companies would lose a lot of money as a result of changes. But the season started in September and we’re in a pandemic. That’s the reality and change is needed to protect the players’ health.

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