Many Liverpool fans have been reacting online to Raheem Sterling’s statement posted on Instagram, issued after the Manchester City winger was axed from England’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro for a spat with Joe Gomez.
The pair went face to face at the weekend as Liverpool beat Manchester City 3-1 to open a nine-point margin between the Premier League title rivals, and Sterling reacted angrily towards the end of the match.
They hugged following the full-time whistle but the tensions remained high as they assembled on St. George’s Park for training on Monday, where Gomez attempted to offer Sterling a handshake in the canteen.
Sterling reportedly took issue with Gomez’s attempted peace offering, though, leading to the Sky Blues star confronting the centre-half and asking if he was “still the big man?”
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It is thought Sterling then attempted to grasp Gomez, leading to some nearby England players stepping in to prevent the situation from getting any worse.
Gareth Southgate has responded to the incident by axing Sterling for Thursday night’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Montenegro, but opted to keep the 24-year-old in the squad for Sunday’s clash with Kosovo rather than sending him home.
Sterling has since taken to Instagram to offer an apology, saying: “First and foremost everyone knows what this 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 get the better of me. We move this is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and @JoeGomez5 are good, we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing, it’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.
“Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday.”
Here are some of the reactions offered by Liverpool fans to Sterling’s post…
Dropped for an international is sufficient punishment, let the kid move on
— John Rooney (@JRooLFC) November 12, 2019
Or senior player picks a fight with younger team mate. At 24 years old and being involved with England for 4 plus years he has let himself down.
— Paul_Miney (@paul_miney) November 12, 2019
Part of the leadership group not showing leadership qualities what happens on the pitch should stay on the pitch if it had happened during a training match nothing would be said it would be heat of the moment. He needs to grow up.
— Mark Wright (@wrighty108) November 12, 2019
Apologize. Simple like that.
— Awalom Tewolde (@AwalomT) November 12, 2019
5-10 second thing ? Didn’t he let it stew overnight ? 😂
— LFCsoc ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (@LFCsoc) November 12, 2019
Storm in a tea cup. Depending on which side of the club fence you sit on it’s a) good to know he cares so much or b) good to see him rattled.
— Emlyn Bellis (@honiara64) November 12, 2019
Concerned that Sterling was elevated to national role model on the back of a comment he made last year. The lad is a piece of work in my opinion albeit a fantastic footballer
— david kirk (@davelfckirk) November 12, 2019