England manager Gareth Southgate reckons it will be a test of management skills to unite Tottenham and Liverpool players after the Champions League final.
Spurs and Liverpool will trade tackles in the Champions League final on 1 June, just five days before England’s Nations League semi-final against the Netherlands.
Southgate selected six Tottenham players with three Liverpool players for his initial 27-man squad for the inaugural Nations League finals in Portugal.
“We have got to make a quick but accurate assessment on where they are over those few days,” Southgate said.
“It will be a very individual thing having played in such a big game.”
Liverpool duo Trent Alexander-Arnold and Jordan Henderson were on the losing side in last year’s final before linking up with England for the World Cup in Russia.
With an all-English final on the cards, Southgate admits the new scenario will present a different ball game.
“That will be the first time we have experienced that,” the coach told BBC Radio 5 Live. “We had Jordan and Trent come into camp last year on the back of a big disappointment and that wasn’t straightforward for them.
“So somebody is going to come in in that frame of mind, unfortunately. It is a unique situation. I guess the Spanish manager would have had that over a period of time in the past [two of the last five finals have been all-Spanish] and there will be others that have had to deal with it.
Gareth Southgate has commended Tottenham Hotspur’s remarkable Champions League comeback upon announcing his England squad for the upcoming Nations League finals.
— Last Word On Spurs🎙 (@LastWordOnSpurs) May 16, 2019
“That’s a test of our management skills and our collective spirit as a team. It’s the biggest challenge of all to compete against each other, then leave that at the door and remember with England we are a team, we support each other.
“That’s been a massive strength for us over the last 18 months.”