Gareth Southgate has taken aim at football’s authorities after seeing Joe Gomez suffer a potentially serious injury in England training.
The Liverpool defender has been forced to pull out of the Three Lions squad after suffering a knee injury in training.
And the manner of how it occurred has led to worries that Gomez is facing an extended spell on the sidelines.
Southgate revealed on Wednesday night that Gomez was “in a fair bit of pain” after suffering the injury in a non-contact situation.
Jurgen Klopp has been among the managers to criticise the current football calendar – in which the season has been shortened, but the number of fixtures hasn’t necessarily been lessened.
Now the England boss has passionately spoken out about the demands being placed on elite footballers this season from the likes of the FA, Premier League and both UEFA and FIFA.
And he insists football’s stakeholders should have come together and adjusted the calendar this term.
“I spoke about this right at the beginning of the season,” said Southgate. “With Joe [we have] a good example.
“We knew the load he has had in the last six weeks or so. We gave him and the other players who had been in European matches who played Sunday, an extra day’s recovery.
“Yet still something like this has happened.
“There are lots of discussions about extra subs. But the bigger picture here is, everybody in the game needs to work together.
“There was an opportunity this year to think differently. The pandemic has thrown up all sorts of difficulties for people. But everybody has tried to cram the programme into a smaller period.
“We are going to see injuries. It’s a desperately sad situation. When you see the impact on an individual, it hits home even more.
“A lot of these discussions should have happened in the summer.
“We could have adjusted the calendar in its entirety and all worked together. But people haven’t done that.”
Also, England will discover on Thursday where they will play Iceland next Wednesday.
England boss Southgate revealed the Football Association will hold talks with the Government with the Football Association hoping an elite sports “bubble” will be allowed.
That would mean Iceland’s players could travel straight from their game in Denmark where new coronavirus restrictions have been brought in which means all travellers must quarantine for 14 days after arriving in England.
But Southgate believes Germany is the most likely alternative venue with the FA not wanting to travel to Albania which is another alternative.
Southgate said: “Discussions with govt can only happen tomorrow. There is an alternative option if we can’t play in England.
“And it looks as though taking the game to Germany would be the strongest possibility.
“We’ll know more after there have been discussions with govt and they have to be based on the medical situation.”
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