Following the international break and another round of matches for the EURO 2020 qualifiers, players who were called up by their national teams have all reported for duty.
However, it hasn’t been all squad goals and togetherness in the Three Lions den with the news of Raheem Sterling being dropped from the team to face Montenegro on November 14.
This comes off the back of a row the Manchester City forward had with England teammate Joe Gomez.
Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling had a bit of a squabble during Manchester City’s defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday, November 10 and from all indications, the two players haven’t moved past the situation.
After series of VAR controversies, Liverpool came up top beating the England champions and extending their lead over their arch rivals to nine points.
The result didn’t go down well with lots of football fans and of course the City team and players.
Sterling was reported to have lost his cool on Joe Gomez in the player’s canteen as a result of the banter from the other players although no physical confrontation whatsoever ensured.
Alas, the players carried their club rivalry to the The Three Lions camp.
Gareth Southgate took the bold step of dropping Sterling from the first of their two games as a disciplinary action to discourage any such behaviour in the future and this sends a message to the players that club rivalry is not entertained in the national team.
Although Raheem Sterling has the highest goal scored so far in the qualifiers (six) alongside Harry Kane, the England boss was willing to put discipline and fair game over results and that is a commendable act from Gareth Southgate.
There has been no further report as to whether Raheem Sterling will be part of England’s second game against Kosovo.
In the meantime, Sterling shared a message on his IG page writing: ‘First and foremost, everyone knows what the game means to me! Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point.
Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.
We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.
We move, this is why we play this sport because of our love for it.
“Myself and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand that it is a 5-10 seconds thing, it’s done and we move on and not make this bigger than it is”.
Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday!’
This particular group of players has been commended for their togetherness and unity since the 2018 world cup.
It may be difficult keeping away the club rivalry considering that most of the players are in English clubs, so far they have managed to keep their club emotions in check and hopefully they continue to do just that.
The Three Lions play Montenegro on Thursday and then Kosovo three days later.
Kindly share your thoughts in the comment section!
Did Gareth Southgate make the right call in dropping Sterling for the game?