Jamie Carragher brands England’s friendly with Ireland “a joke”

Jamie Carragher sympathises with both club managers and national team managers as players continue to struggle with the hectic fixture schedule.

As the Premier League returns, quite a few managers will be expected to take issue with the most recent international break as selection headaches abound due to positive Covid-19 tests, injuries and fatigue.

The Republic of Ireland squad was decimated by disruptions over the past fortnight while Jose Mourinho has slammed the international break in his own inimitable style.

Jamie Carragher, meanwhile, has criticised the decision to go ahead with last week’s friendly between England and Ireland.

Carragher claimed players’ welfare is not being taken into account enough and branded the friendly “a joke.”

“I think Gareth [Southgate] has come out on the front foot – and he’s the England manager, he’s got to do what’s best for him,” Carragher said on Sky Sports.

“Club managers are going to do what’s best for them and they will have been putting pressure on certain players to maybe try to get out of games.

“And if I was a club manager or the England manager, I’d be doing exactly the same as what both sets of managers are.

“I just think what this season has told us and we spoke about this on Monday Night Football, through lots of different instances – whether it was to null and void the league, Project Big Picture, five subs and international football – is that everyone just looks after themselves.

“They do what’s right for them, hence why England had a joke of a friendly against the Republic of Ireland which was just a nonsense because of a financial situation with the FA.

“So they played that game and, again, nobody is giving up anything in football throughout the world this season and the players are just being treated like meat.”

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