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Ange Postecoglou rants back at Southgate over criticism on Spurs vs Newcastle fixture

Published: Updated: 18:10, 31 Mar 2024
Tottenham manager said Southgate will understand if he coaches club one day

Ange Postecoglou, Tottenham manager, has responded to Gareth Southgate’s concerns about the post-season friendly between Tottenham and Newcastle. While acknowledging Southgate’s apprehensions, he also expressed his own reservations about international friendlies that lack significant implications.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Tottenham would face off against Newcastle at the renowned Melbourne Cricket Ground in a post-season friendly on May 22. This match is scheduled just three days after both clubs conclude their Premier League matches.

The fixture represents a homecoming for Ange Postecoglou who hails from Melbourne. However, its timing may not be ideal for players who have just completed an arduous season and are preparing for the European Championship commencing in June.

Southgate concerned over injury risk in unwanted matches

England manager Gareth Southgate has voiced his concerns over this friendly match. He believes it could potentially disrupt preparations for the upcoming Euros.Players like James Maddison, Kieran Tripper and Anthony Gordan are expected to travel to Germany as part of England's squad for the tournament.

Southgate fears that these players might pick up injuries during this game which could affect their performance or even participation in Euros. When asked about Southgate’s worries regarding potential injuries of key players like Maddison during this game.

Tottenham Hotspur manager, Gareth Southgate, said:

“I’m sure Gareth will be a club coach one day and he’ll get a different perspective, as he has been in the past. I don’t think Gareth has said anything – or any other national team manager.

“I was a national team manager and I used to sweat over it at the weekend when the players were playing, whether that was a normal game, a friendly game, whatever game it is. The flip side of that is there were quite a few club coaches on edge with national team duty this week so it’s the world we live in mate.”

Postecoglou fired shots at Nations League indirectly

Postecoglou pointed out that while he understands these concerns surrounding player welfare due to additional fixtures so close to major tournaments; similar apprehensions exist around international friendlies with no substantial stakes involved.

Ange Postecoglou added:

“Yeah, it’s a bit like when new national team tournaments are always inserted into the fixture list isn’t it? Whether you’re a club coach or a national team coach, this is the world we live in.”

He further emphasized that Spurs had thoroughly considered all factors before deciding to go ahead with this friendly match. He insisted that such games play a crucial role in expanding the club’s popularity Down Under and contribute positively to the global growth of the sport.

While concerns about player welfare and fixture congestion are valid, it's clear that clubs also have to balance these with their broader objectives such as international outreach and fan engagement. As this debate continues, it will be interesting to see how football authorities, clubs and national team managers navigate these complex issues in the future.

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