Home News Scotland manager ignored Jurgen Klopp ‘request’ before Andy Robertson injury

Scotland manager ignored Jurgen Klopp ‘request’ before Andy Robertson injury

5
0

As his Liverpool squad headed for the international break, Jurgen Klopp made a hopeful request to their managers – but Andy Robertson now returns injured.

Liverpool saw 25 players in total called up for their national teams this month, with 17 of those coming from the first-team squad.

The majority of countries took in two friendlies, rather than the usual qualifiers, which landed during an unforgiven schedule for clubs around Europe.

After Liverpool signed off with a 4-3 defeat at Man United in the FA Cup, Klopp expressed his hope that national team managers would take caution with their players.

“I think most of them have friendlies, but I cannot make these decisions for the managers, most of them we don’t speak the same language,” he told reporters.

“They want them in the best possible shape for the summer, most of them play [in summer tournaments], so I hope they don’t have to play two games, 90 minutes.

“That would be helpful, but it’s not in my hands.”

Scotland manager Steve Clarke is one of those who does share a common language with Klopp, but Robertson started both of his country’s friendlies this month.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - Tuesday, September 12, 2023: Scotland's Andy Robertson during an International Friendly match between Scotland and England at Hampden Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The captain played 90 minutes in 4-0 loss to the Netherlands on Friday, before being forced off with an ankle injury after 37 minutes in the 1-0 loss to Northern Ireland on Tuesday.

Two starts in five days, with Robertson operating as a left wing-back in Clarke’s 3-4-2-1 system, while Celtic left-back Greg Taylor failed to play a single minute.

Robertson will now undergo a scan on Merseyside to determine the extent of his injury, with his reaction as he walked off the pitch at Hampden Park already prompting speculation over an early end to his season.

Given Scotland will participate in the Euros this summer – for only the fourth time in their history – there could be concern over his involvement in Germany.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JUNE 22: Steve Clarke, Head Coach of Scotland looks on prior to the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Group D match between Croatia and Scotland at Hampden Park on June 22, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger - UEFA)

That would prove self-defeating when it came to Clarke’s selection process for two friendlies which are ultimately meaningless, sticking with a player – albeit his captain – who was already a guaranteed starter for both games rather than trying out new faces.

It was certainly not a case of keeping him fresh, with Scotland still to play two warmup games against Gibraltar and Finland before the tournament in June.

Robertson was not the only Liverpool player to start two games for his country this month, with Virgil van Dijk, Luis Diaz, Dominik Szoboszlai, Conor Bradley and Kostas Tsimikas also doing so.

Van Dijk and Szoboszlai played the full 90 minutes as captain in both games for the Netherlands and Hungary respectively, while Tsimikas clocked 210 minutes against Kazakhstan and Georgia as Greece’s playoff final ran through extra time.