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Didi Hamann: Phil Neville’s criticism of Karius is just childish

Former Premier League midfielder Didi Hamann doesn’t hold back following the Neville brothers’ criticism of Liverpool keeper Loris Karius

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If Gary and Phil Neville had said that Loris Karius needs to get his head down, that’s fine.

But Phil Neville’s saying, ‘Keep your mouth shut, do your job, go home, have your tea and play football’, is out of line.

Many will say he’s got more right to speak up than Karius – the Neville brothers have more than 900 Premier League appearances – but should that always be the case?

Neville made his point, so why can’t Karius? If he thinks the criticism crosses the line then it’s his right to speak, but for Phil then to come on and say Karius ‘shooting his mouth off is his biggest mistake.’

That’s just laughable. It’s childish to say the least. Gary can look after himself, he doesn’t need his brother to back him up.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has got to protect Karius, but whether he needs to go into detail about Gary’s managerial record is a different matter. It just goes to show how strongly Klopp feels about it, as do a lot of people within the club.

These are Liverpool players, and as long as they’re Liverpool players Klopp has to protect them.

Gary Neville didn’t hold back with criticism of Manchester United keeper David De Gea when he first came to England in 2011 – particularly after a costly mistake against Tottenham in his second season. I wouldn’t accuse him of being biased, he’s doing a very good job as a pundit for Sky Sports.

The goalkeeper row is certainly not helping Liverpool. The bottom line is that Karius has been at fault for a few goals – the West Ham and Bournemouth games being the most recent.

He’s got to improve. He’s a very capable goalkeeper with plenty of ability – the question is has he got the mental ability to overcome the harsh and sometimes over-the-top criticism he is receiving? A lot of whether you succeed or not in professional sport comes down to that psychology.

It’s not an easy thing to do – especially at Liverpool – because once the fans are on your back it’s not the easiest place to turn it around.

We want people to speak their mind in the game. Everyone says footballers are the same these days – they’ve got no edge anymore and there aren’t any real characters.

When players speak they say what the interviewer wants to hear and what their club wants to hear. Karius didn’t and I believe he’s right.

If he hadn’t spoken up people would say he’s lacking heart or belief because he can’t even stand up for himself. Whatever you do, you can’t win!

It’s wrong if people tell him to ‘shut up’ and get on with it. That’s the wrong choice of words and it’s offensive.

I criticised Karius because he’s making too many mistakes – that’s one thing – but you’ve got to treat him with the respect he deserves and it’s not the case with some people at the moment. This is a guy who played over 100 top flight games between Liverpool and his previous club Mainz.

Liverpool paid nearly £5m for him, we shouldn’t allow pundits to talk about him in a way that they shouldn’t. Karius deserves respect.

Whether he’s good enough or not is a completely separate issue…

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What do you think?