Football mangers have a lot more on their plate than just sending players onto the pitch have drilled them tactically.
One of those duties is to keep player’s morale high, and this often necessitates defending them or even sending criticism the other way.
A high profile example of this was Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp’s dispute with Gary Neville back in 2016.
In December of that year, Neville echoed his own brother Phil’s sentiments towards Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, claiming that he simply wasn’t good enough.
“It’s tough to win the league without a good goalkeeper, it is tough,” Neville said at the time. “He’s not good enough that goalkeeper.”
“You could see actually in his first game, was it against United on a Monday night? He looks nervous and he isn’t good enough.”
Karius himself responded, stating that he didn’t care about what Neville thought, but upon hearing the comments, Klopp went in for the kill in defending his player, heaping scorn on Neville’s judgement, citing his failed tenure as manager of Valencia.
“The one who was the manager (Gary) he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps – but he’s not interested in helping a Liverpool player I can imagine”, he said.
“But that makes the things he says not more sense. He showed that he struggled with the job to judge players. Why do we let them talk about players on television? I wouldn’t but the only thing I can do is I don’t listen to them.”
It was pretty emphatic stuff, but in an interview with GOAL ahead of the new season, Klopp’s view on the situation has cooled, revealing his regret at the remarks.
“I made a mistake,” Klopp stated.
“I was a little harsh about the Neville brothers, for sure, but I said what I said.”
Gary Neville will be rejoined by Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports after the latter’s suspension, though with Alisson now between the sticks for the Reds, Karius won’t prove to be a further flashpoint for the above parties.