Gareth Southgate Analogizes Sterling-Gomez Row to ‘family disagreement’

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Without getting into specific details about what exactly happened, England manager Gareth Southgate spoke to the media about the training ground bust-up between winger Raheem Sterling and central defender Joe Gomez. Hey, who says international breaks are always boring, right? Southgate likened the row to a “family disagreement.”

Three Lions currently top Group A with 15 points from six matches, but they’ll be without Sterling when they host Montenegro on Thursday. England suspended the Manchester City man for the match on Thursday, but he remains with the Three Lions camp and he is still in contention to play in the road trip at Kosovo on Sunday.

gareth southgate

“Raheem explained that for a brief moment his emotions ran over,” Southgate told reporters.

“It would be correct to say that’s not the same for Joe. It is important to always be as fair as possible on any decision I make. Quite the number of our senior players have been active in discussions.”

“That is an important process. I am the manager and certain decisions are my responsibility. The group has been very mature dealing with a difficult situation.

“As emotions calmed yesterday, I am very impressed the players worked through collectively. I had to make some difficult calls — that’s the end of discussion.

“It’s not for me to discuss the details of the incident. In the end I have to find the right solution for the group. You try to be fair at all times dealing with the players.”

Southgate runs a very tight ship, so even a player as productive and stellar as Sterling (and he is among the world’s best right now at his position) will have to fall in line, in order to remain part of the program.

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Sterling has since made his public apology for the incident and maintains that the conflict is beyond him and Gomez now.

“I have made the decision and it was appropriate for moving forward,” Southgate continued.

“Raheem is a very important player for us but I feel it was the right. I consult very closely with all of the players, in particular the senior players. They have a very good understanding of how we have worked over the years. We are a united group and now we have to turn our focus on to the football.”

“We have a hugely important qualifier on Thursday night. We are drawing a line under it and moving forward as a team.”

“I love all of my players. We are a family and all families have disagreements. The most important thing is to work through them.”

“Our focus is now to move forward. It was crucial to me that everyone in the group is ready to move forward. That is why everyone is part of the squad.”

raheem sterling

Sterling has played exceedingly well for England, scoring eight goals and notching five assists thus far during 2020 European championship qualification.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link.

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