Southgate voices injury concerns caused by heavy fixture schedule

Injury worries Southgate

With Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Ward-Prowse, Joe Gomez and Marcus Rashford all pull out of the England squad due to injury, Gareth Southgate has called for a look into match scheduling.

The end of the campaign will see sides play in the delayed European Championships across the continent. The latest round of fixtures has seen sides such as Scotland and Hungary qualify through the play-offs. Whereas England and Southgate have used the time to prepare and work out which players are best placed to start the tournament next summer.

However, Southgate has expressed his concerns on how his preparations will be affected by further injury problems.

“We are in this very worrying situation on player welfare where at best players are picking up minor muscle injuries and at worst there is the danger of more serious injuries,” he said.

“That is a concern. So we have to keep looking at every position and we just don’t know what’s going to happen in the next few months.”

England face Belgium and Iceland in upcoming Nations league fixtures but seeding for the World Cup qualifying has already been secured.

Opportunity missed

With the World Cup in 2022 taking place in the Winter months, Southgate left indication that the scheduling of tournaments could have led to a less stringent international scene.

“It requires everybody from FIFA, UEFA, and national organisations to organise the calendar,” he said.

“It is complicated but it was possible. The timing of the next World Cup made everything possible. There was opportunity, but that opportunity was missed and whether that can be rectified is to be seen.”

Jurgen Klopp

BELGRADE, SERBIA – NOVEMBER 06: Manager Jurgen Klopp of Liverpool reacts during the Group C match of the UEFA Champions League between Red Star Belgrade and Liverpool at Rajko Mitic Stadium on November 06, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images)

An increased focus on measures to try and reduce player injury has taken place at a domestic level also. Coaches such as Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have called out for the return to 5 substitutions.

“It’s a lack of leadership,” Klopp said after the 1-1 draw against Manchester City. “Richard Masters sold it completely wrong.”

“It’s not an advantage, it’s a necessity. It happens in other countries, it was sold completely wrong and now you have this situation.”

Liverpool could be without several first team starters as a return to the Premier League awaits in a weeks time.

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Injury worries Southgate With Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Ward-Prowse, Joe Gomez and Marcus Rashford all pull out of the England squad due to injury, Gareth Southgate has called for a look into match scheduling. The end of the campaign will see sides play in the delayed European Championships across the continent. The latest round of fixturesFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed

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