Chris Sutton has waded into the debate over the form of Liverpool keeper Loris Karius by saying Phil and Gary Neville were “totally out of order” with their recent comments.
Karius has come under pressure from pundits in the last couple of weeks following mistakes against West Ham and Bournemouth that cost the Reds points.
The Neville brothers and Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher have been the three most outspoken on the issue with Phil Neville particularly disagreeing with Karius talking to the media over the criticism he received.
“Where Phil was wrong is he’s basically saying players shouldn’t do interviews,” Sutton told BBC Radio 5 Live. “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 [or] 50 seconds and he gave an opinion and Gary Neville copped the hump.
BREAKING NEWS: Gary Neville is not a chef. But he does respond to Jurgen Klopp. Yay https://t.co/rgF6QNz3fc
— Football365 (@F365) December 13, 2016
“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.”
Following his gaffe against Bournemouth, Karius was asked about Gary Neville’s critique, he replied: “What critics say right after the game, I don’t know what I think. If you asked them again would they say it now?
“And I don’t care what Gary Neville said. He was a top player, then he was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again.
“But he is always very critical. I think he does it to everyone. I just hope that when I do well he will comment on that. We will see in the future.”
Karius:" I don’t care what Gary Neville said after the game. He was a manager for a short bit and now he is back to being an expert again."
— Anfield HQ (@AnfieldHQ) December 9, 2016
In response to Karius speaking to the media, Neville said on social media: “My sincere apologies Karius. You’re right. A failed manager hasn’t a clue. I won’t copy your great fan [Jamie Carragher], pundit and club legend again.”
Sutton, though, thinks Karius did the right thing by doing the interview and has likened the Neville brothers to the Mitchell brothers on Eastenders.
“Karius should be commended for doing the interview,” Sutton added. “Then Gary Neville reacted and, let’s get it right, that was a bit precious of Gary.
“Then Phil reacted (on Sunday night) didn’t he, I mean they’re like the Mitchell brothers, aren’t they, the pair of them!”
Things that have no bearing on analysis of Karius: 1) G Neville's managerial career, 2) G Neville's allegiance, 3) J Carragher's allegiance
— Oliver Kay (@OliverKayTimes) December 12, 2016