Football

Dier: Nothing friendly about England v Germany

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Eric Dier set the stage for England's clash with Germany at Wembley Stadium on Saturday morning (Singapore time), saying there is no such thing as a friendly between the traditional rivals.

Said the Tottenham Hotspur player: "The manager has already said that if we are going to play friendlies, he wants to be playing the very best nations in the world and to challenge ourselves, and I think that is the right mentality.

"These are two really big friendlies.

"I don't think there is ever going to be a friendly between England and Germany, so we are really looking forward to it."

After facing the World Cup and Confederations Cup holders on Saturday, the Three Lions will then face five-time World Cup winners Brazil at the same venue on Wednesday morning.

But Liverpool's German manager Juergen Klopp has suggested that the English Football Association might have chosen the wrong opposition for Gareth Southgate's final two assignments for the year.

He said: "If you want to play a friendly, you should choose another team than Germany. And Brazil is the second one, that's really funny.

"All the journalists need to cool down and don't expect too much... You make it too big if they win, too big if they lose...

"England has a bunch of fantastic young players. I'm not sure how Germany will line up, but it's a very good game for sure, but I would not say it should be a sign for the future.

"The sign for the future was the Under-17 and the Under-20 World Cup successes. We have to make sure they are coming through."

England's youth teams have enjoyed an unprecedented run of success this year, with the Under-17s and Under-20s becoming world champions. Meanwhile, the Under-19s were crowned European champions while their Under-21 compatriots reached the last four of the European Under-21 Championship before losing on penalties to eventual winners Germany.

There is a clamour for the FA to ensure this golden generation isn't wasted, but former England international Gary Neville believes the matter is out of their hands.

He wrote on Sky Sports: "There's the argument that is if they're good enough then they'll get in but I don't believe that anymore, it is absolutely false...

"The FA can't do anything about it. We've heard Gareth Southgate talking about only picking players who are regular starters for their clubs, which seems a sensible approach, but the reality is he can't ring up Jose Mourinho, Juergen Klopp or Arsene Wenger asking them to play his players."

Wenger, himself, was candid about the failings of Premier League managers, saying: "The gap between youth and reserve level and the Premier League is so big that all the managers sit there and sweat on the Friday night and finally think, 'Lets be conservative, we'll see next week'." - WIRE SERVICES

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