Gareth Southgate fears England player burnout for delayed Euro 2020

Gareth Southgate says he is worried about the condition that his England players will be in for the European Championship next summer as he opened up on how the power of the Premier League could affect his prospects of success.

The England manager next sees his squad in march when they will play their opening three qualifying ties for the 2022 World Cup, the draw for which was made on Monday. England have been put in a group with Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino and the order of the fixtures will be announced on Tuesday.

It is unusual to play World Cup qualifiers before a summer European tournament but this is an unusual season in terms of the rejigged schedule. Southgate, who will name his Euro squad in the weeks after the opening World Cup ties, says he shares the concerns of the top Premier League managers, ­including Liverpool’s ­Jürgen Klopp. They have been frustrated by the demands placed on the players and how the league has as yet not permitted use of five substitutes in matches.

“Jürgen will be like me, looking at what March looks like – when teams are at the end of the Champions League, teams are going for the league title,” Southgate said. “What we have tried to affect is that we’ve lobbied Uefa for five subs in the Nations League, which I think was a good decision. I know there are talks about the FA Cup going in that direction. They are the bits that as an FA we can control.

“I would think Jürgen would be frustrated because in Germany the DFB and Bundesliga work so closely together on these things. We don’t have that power on fixtures with the Premier League or the substitutions. I think from a national team point of view a compact season like this – it’s always a concern what you’re going to get at the end of it.”

Southgate was asked whether he would like to unite the ­Premier League clubs behind the cause of the national team. “It’s a lovely idea but I have to live in a pragmatic world and a world of reality,” he said. “I totally understand that we have the most intense competition at the top of our league and some very successful managers who have huge motivation themselves.

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“Our league is very different. It’s one of the additional situations as England manager that you have to deal with. It’s always important to have civilised relationships with the clubs and respectful relationships. But the reality is our objectives are always slightly different. It’s not so easy to get a multinational group of managers on the same page about England winning.

“International football is strong, so is Champions League and Premier League football. So there is a dif­ferent political situation there that we do our best to try and navigate but it makes our life more…

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