Tony Gillan: Spat between Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and Manchester United's Neville Brothers is fun for all of us

The Liverpool versus Neville brothers squabble has been entertaining, although neither party has emerged with much credit.

Tuesday, 13th December 2016, 11:08 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:43 pm
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp appears dejected

It began when goalkeeper Loris Karius made an error that cost his side a point at Bournemouth.

This prompted criticism from Gary Neville on Sky, which Karius and Jürgen Klopp took exception to.

Why? The dropping of clangers tends not to elicit gushing praise and at this stage Neville hadn’t been especially controversial.

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But Karius and Klopp both cattishly alluded to Neville’s short and disastrous stint as a manager at Valencia.

This was an extraneous point.

There are only two categories of pundit; those who have failed as managers and those who wouldn’t dare try it.

It doesn’t invalidate or negate their opinions and Klopp would be better served by debating the criticism rather than the critic – or simply ignoring it.

Neville responded with a puerile Instagram message offering sarcastic apologies.

Then, defending his big brother on Match of the Day 2, a clearly wound up Phil Neville snarled at Karius for: “Having a go at pundits.”

Yes, how dare he. Regrettably for pundits they are there to be criticised by anyone.

They are ludicrously overpaid, by us in the case of BBC employees, to tell us in bad English of things that we knew anyway.

But Klopp wouldn’t let it lie.

He continued the yah-booing at pundits: “Especially the Neville brothers; the one who was the manager, he obviously should know that too much criticism never helps.”

He added: “I don’t listen to them.” Is that true Jürgen?

Thin skins and a cringeworthy lack of dignity and professionalism from all concerned.

As I say, it’s all a lot of fun for the rest of us and they can keep it up for as long as they like.

How much respect they think they are due as a result of this infantile spat is another matter.