This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Former Manchester United man Rio Ferdinand and TV personality Piers Morgan have questioned Gareth Southgate after the recent news surrounding Raheem Sterling emerged.
It has been reported that the Manchester City forward and Liverpool’s Joe Gomez got into an altercation on England duty. As a result, Gareth Southgate has dropped Sterling for the Thursday clash with Montenegro by publically stating he will not be included.
Morgan tweeted: “Surprised to see Gareth Southgate throw @sterling7 to the wolves. Why didn’t he just handle it internally? Nothing wrong with a bit of feistiness between teammates, and all got resolved very quickly.”
It seems that the former Manchester United enforcer Rio Ferdinand is in agreement with Morgan, as he said: “I feel this incident could have been handled better,” the former England man posted on his Facebook page.
“Keep it behind closed doors & deal with it internally surely?! Come International Week, it’s meet up time between Sterling & Gomez… Raheem Sterling was still upset with Gomez about the result on Sunday & their little pushing/words said during the #lfc vs #mcfc game.
“Obviously as a manager I’m sure having a harmonious squad is the best scenario – handshakes and hugs on sight not confrontations. But let’s be honest now this kind of stuff isn’t uncommon in squads full of testosterone.
“In the various squads I have been a part of I have seen players get punched in the face, ribs broken, nose busted, head kicked like a football…..a throat grab was the equivalent of the intricate handshake embraces that are all too familiar today!
“The main question is: Why this couldn’t be handled internally?”
The England squad are one of the most scrutinised and watched in Europe. Not many national teams face such torrid media attention and almost everything they do is reported on.
However, if there is anything Southgate has done well with England, it’s creating a family-like nature amongst the team and keeping the media pleased.
Although, this time, he has slipped up and brought unwanted attention to the dressing room.
Now, heading into what is actually a big game for the Three Lions, the entire fixture is surrounded by Sterling and Gomez.