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13th Dec 2016

Chris Sutton ruthlessly takes apart the Neville brothers’ criticism of Loris Karius

"I mean they’re like the Mitchell brothers, aren’t they, the pair of them"

Robert Redmond

Chris Sutton has had his say on the Neville brothers v Jurgen Klopp and Loris Karius spat, and he’s made some really good points.

Karius responded to heavy criticism of his performance against Bournemouth by Gary Neville by appearing to take a dig at his brief managerial career with Valencia last season during an interview.

The Liverpool goalkeeper then made an error in the 2-2 draw with West Ham, and was told to “shut up” and just do his job by Jamie Carragher on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game, and later by Phil Neville on Match of the Day 2.

Klopp took the Neville brothers to task over their comments on Monday, and now Chris Sutton has had his say by comparing the Neville brothers to the fictional Mitchell brothers from the BBC soap opera EastEnders. Vintage Sutton, that.

Sutton took aim at Phil Neville’s nonsensical criticism of Karius. The former Manchester United defender said that Karius shouldn’t take part in interviews for a couple of years, until he’s an established player.

“My criticism of him is not the mistakes he is making, it’s the article he did in midweek,” Phil said.

“When you’re a young player and your making mistakes or breaking into the team, you do your training, you work as hard as you possibly can, you play on a Saturday and you say nothing.

“Until you’ve got a couple of seasons under your belt then you can start coming out shouting your mouth off or having a go at pundits.”

His argument doesn’t really make a lot of sense. What Karius says in an interview has no direct correlation with his performances. He can work hard in training and take part in an interview, the two aren’t contradictory.

The days when you can tell an inexperienced professional footballer to “shut up” are long gone, and the Liverpool keeper was fully entitled to reply to Neville’s criticism.

Sutton took Neville’s argument apart in his own unique way.

“Where Phil was wrong is he’s basically saying players shouldn’t do interviews,” Sutton said on BBC Radio 5 Live on Monday night.

“That was the way I read his comments. When you’re young, breaking into a team, train hard, work hard, say nothing until you’ve got a couple of seasons under your belt then you can start shouting your mouth off.

“Well, what are Phil’s criteria when players should be allowed to speak? Does that mean no one from the lower leagues is allowed or do you have to have 50 caps, 100 caps, do you have to win the Premier League? I don’t get it.

“Karius, what did Karius do? He was asked a question, it was a 50-minute interview. I think he was asked a couple of questions and it took what 30, 50 seconds and he gave an opinion and Gary Neville copped the hump.

“That is the long and the short of it and then Phil Neville backing his brother up saying ‘nobody should be allowed to do interviews until you’re a certain age’.  And, here’s hypocrisy for you, they work in the media. The Nevilles are totally out of order with this one.

“Karius should be commended for doing the interview. Then Gary Neville reacted and, let’s get it right, that was a bit precious of Gary. Then Phil reacted didn’t he, I mean they’re like the Mitchell brothers, aren’t they, the pair of them.”

Sutton speaks a lot of sense. Apart from the Mitchell brothers comparison.