This international break is unwelcome, but it’s just the beginning. We have the weekend ahead with no Liverpool match. And then it’s another full week after that until the Reds play Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley. It will be a big occasion, that one. And it’s just a shame we have to wait for all the teams to finish battle-prancing around in their post-World Cup plumage before we get to experience more of Liverpool’s Fab Everyone at Spurs. France won, you guys. Let’s just leave it at that until spring.
At least Joe Gomez gets to finally go to England camp after missing out on a trip to Russia due his injury issues last season. I know I shouldn’t invoke the injury gods while discussing the international break but I’m feeling indestructible and sassy.
Also, with Gomez on England duty are Liverpool teammates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Adam Lallana. There’s always a healthy chunk of Liverpool players in the England national team.
And Spurs currently have five players called up by Gareth Southgate.
But the England manager has recently spoken out about a lack of young, English talent at the top end of the Premier League. Southgate suggested that if an effort wasn’t made to switch that trend, “we are on a graph that is heading heavily downwards, particularly with the top teams.”
The numbers say that in the four game weeks so far, English starters have dropped by two percent at the top six Premier League clubs. If you’re not interested in the numbers, that’s okay, Jürgen Klopp quotes are just ahead.
“I don’t think the numbers have dropped with us,” countered Klopp. “I have no answer for the other teams.
“What I can say is we have three or four, maybe five, six or seven potential starters for the English national team.
“Two of them have started all the games already – Joe and Trent – then Hendo.
“Adam had a difficult time last year, that’s how it is. Dom Solanke is with the under-21s.
The other “potential starters” Klopp refers to are Nathaniel Clyne, who was a regular with England before his injury, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who I’ve started calling Slade, and Daniel Sturridge.
Dear Mr. Southgate, we now consider this issue closed. Thank you.