The public trading of barbs between Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville and Liverpool goalkeeper became decidedly catty on Friday afternoon.
Neville was critical of Karius’s performance in Liverpool’s 4-3 defeat to Bournemouth last Sunday – particularly for the mistake that allowed Nathan Ake to score a last-minute winner.
Neville said of the German goalkeeper:
“[Karius] isn’t good enough. Now he might get better in the next 12-18 months, but you watch Courtois yesterday, he is good enough.
Goalkeepers can transmit anxiety all around the ground, and all through a team. The likes of Karius, that’s what they do – they’re good at it, they’re good at transmitting anxiety.
“They just basically do things that unsettle everybody.”
The 23-year-old exercised his right of reply to the former Manchester United captain in an interview with Mail Sport published on Friday. Karius chose to focus on Neville’s recent unproductive stint as manager of Valencia, which came to an end after less than four months last season.
“What critics say right after the game, I don’t know what I think. If you asked them again would they say it now?
“And I don’t care what Gary Neville said. He was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again.
“But he is always very critical. I think he does it to everyone. I just hope that when I do well he will comment on that. We will see in the future.”
Neville, evidently refusing to take that lying down, responded on his Instagram account, drawing Karius’s attention to similarly scathing criticism from fellow Sky pundit, and former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher after last Sunday’s result:
The caption underneath read:
“My sincere apologies Karius. You’re right. A failed manager hasn’t a clue. I won’t copy your great fan, pundit and club legend again.”
Despite calls in some quarters for the £4.7m summer signing to be taken out of the firing line for a bit and replaced with Simon Mignolet, Karius is widely expected to keep his place for this weekend’s clash against West Ham at Anfield.