Pep, Jose, Klopp & Co don’t do hype.. and that will spell ma­jor trou­ble for many of Eng­land’s ail­ing Prem ‘stars’

Daily Mirror - - BRIANREADE -

LIT­TLE more than nine weeks ago Joe Hart tried to put the crit­ics in their place.

“No­body will want to play us,” he said af­ter Eng­land’s goal­less draw with Slo­vakia meant they’d failed to top their Eu­ros group. “I haven’t had any­thing to do in the whole tour­na­ment, to be hon­est,” he added, walk­ing blindly into Schaden­freude Al­ley. If some­one had told Hart when he woke up the next day that, in two months’ time, Pep Guardi­ola would tell him to find an­other club and Eng­land’s new man­ager Sam Al­lardyce would warn him that un­less he fol­lowed that ad­vice he wouldn’t play for his coun­try, he’d prob­a­bly have thought he’d had a car crash, wo­ken up af­ter a Head And Shoul­ders trans­plant, and his brain wasn’t func­tion­ing prop­erly. Be­cause like most se­nior Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­als he hasn’t needed to worry about his club place. He prob­a­bly as­sumed that with so few high-qual­ity na­tives in a Premier League cry­ing out for English qual­i­ties he was bombproof. This sea­son Hart (left) won’t be the last to dis­cover that he isn’t. With the ar­rival of the so-called Su­per Coaches comes a stark re­al­ity for play­ers whose rep­u­ta­tions have been over-in­flated by an Eng­land shirt. These bosses don’t let hype blur their vi­sion. They know, through ex­pe­ri­ence, the def­i­ni­tion of world class, and it’s a few grades higher than the one com­monly used in Eng­land to de­scribe our own.

It didn’t need Zla­tan Ibrahi­movic to as­sume Manch­ester United’s penalty-tak­ing du­ties for Wayne Rooney (right) to re­alise that Jose Mour­inho won’t be in­dulging him the way he has been in the past.

With his new man­ager telling him he won’t be play­ing in mid­field just to be ac­com­mo­dated, you’d have to fear for the chances in the biggest of games – when Mour­inho goes de­fen­sive – of Rooney be­ing picked ahead of Ibrahi­movic or An­thony Mar­tial.

Al­lardyce has al­ready warned Marcus Rash­ford that Mour­inho will need to be pick­ing him to get a game with Eng­land. How long be­fore he’s mak­ing Rooney sweat over his place the way he cur­rently is over his cap­tain’s arm­band?

Or Chris Smalling, now that Mour­inho has pri­vately in­di­cated that Eric Bailly and Da­ley Blind are his pre­ferred cen­tre-back pair­ing. Phil Jones will cer­tainly need to find an­other team to stand a chance of play­ing reg­u­lar first-team football.

Liver­pool man­ager Jur­gen Klopp has had 10 months to as­sess his squad and shown the door to two English­men who were per­ceived be­fore he ar­rived as fu­ture reg­u­lars.

Jor­don Ibe has been sold to Bournemouth and Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Jon Flana­gan loaned to Burn­ley, de­spite the Reds hav­ing a full-blown full-back cri­sis. Don’t be sur­prised if, over the next cou­ple of trans­fer win­dows, English­men with higher rep­u­ta­tions suf­fer sim­i­lar fates.

With Klopp bring­ing in Sa­dio Mane and Ge­orginio Wi­j­nal­dum and show­ing faith in Divock Origi, Emre Can, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho, the likes of Daniel Stur­ridge, Jor­dan Hen­der­son and Adam Lal­lana know they’re far from au­to­matic starters now.

As for Chelsea, Gary Cahill looks safe for the time be­ing, but with An­to­nio Conte des­per­ate to bring in Kali­dou Koulibaly and ea­gerly await­ing the re­turn of Kurt Zouma, the pres­sure may soon be on.

So Hart may not be alone in this cull and Al­lardyce may have to live with the fact that (out­side of his Spurs con­tin­gent) few play­ers at the biggest clubs are guar­an­teed play­ing time. It shouldn’t come as a shock though.

The main rea­son for those woe­ful per­for­mances at the Eu­ros in France wasn’t Roy Hodg­son’s coach­ing, wrong for­ma­tions or fa­tigue, but too many English play­ers lack­ing the tech­nique and nous to com­pete at the high­est level.

Which is the only level at which the very best coaches in the world want to op­er­ate.

SOME have called it ad­mirable hon­esty, oth­ers can­did re­al­ism. But if I were a Sun­der­land fan be­ing told by David Moyes (left) to ex­pect an­other rel­e­ga­tion bat­tle a week into a new sea­son, I’d ques­tion the wis­dom of my board pay­ing a for­tune to a man­ager who needs to use such de­press­ing de­featism to buy him­self a get-out clause for fu­ture fail­ure. And were I one of the four play­ers he says he wants to bring in be­fore the win­dow closes, I’d tell him: ‘Come and join our ninemonth sur­vival bat­tle’, is not the best sales pitch in the world.

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