‘I don’t know why he’s having a swing’ – England boss Southgate puzzled by Klopp criticism



England manager Gareth Southgate admits he is at a loss to explain why he has become the target for Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp’s venom over team selection. 

Klopp has in the past hit out at Southgate over the use of Trent Alexander-Arnold in midfield and other decisions involving his charges

But the Three Lions boss insists that from his perspective at least there is no conflict between the two. 

What was said? 

“I don’t quite know why he keeps having a swing, you’d have to ask him,” Southgate told reporters when asked about Klopp.

“I think we’ve always got on reasonably well. I’ve noticed quite a few articles and quite a few comments, which is always interesting to see.

“Do I form bonds with club managers? They come and go pretty quickly so it’s important to have a good relationship somewhere in the clubs, but maybe the managers [aren’t] the priority because it’s very transient.

“I don’t think that will be the case with the Liverpool manager, by the way. I’ve got no problem with Jurgen at all. You’d have to ask him why he’s made the comments he has.”

Confidence in Kane

Southgate is also hoping that the arrival of Antonio Conte at Tottenham helps get the best out of Harry Kane, whose form has been disappointing since seeing a move to Manchester City fall apart over the summer. 

“Now there’s an opportunity for Harry to be able to put everything behind him,” he added.

“He announced he wanted to stay. Now there’s a change of manager, I think there’s a fresh start for him. That will be a good stimulus for him.”

“Harry has 41 goals in 65 internationals and we need to win a game of football. There’s nobody we trust more if a chance drops to him than Harry Kane. He’s the outstanding centre-forward of his generation.

“I’m sure the whole thing has been an experience that has been difficult. He’s ended up, understandably, with an adverse reaction from some of the fans there. So he’s had to deal with a lot of unintentional consequences of the possible move in the summer.

“Antonio coming in is probably a good thing from Harry’s personal point of view. Knowing Antonio as I do – an outstanding coach, a very good man – I’m sure he’ll get a response and a reaction out of Harry very quickly.”

England take on Albania and San Marino in their final World Cup qualifiers in November, and know that four points from the two games will be sufficient to secure their place at Qatar 2022 regardless of results elsewhere in the group.

Further reading 



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