Gareth Southgate has announced that he will simply select Raheem Sterling for the European Championship qualifying match of England with Kosovo on Sunday. The attacker, who will be sidelined against Montenegro on Thursday after an incident with teammate Joe Gomez, shows exemplary behavior according to the national coach.
Sterling and Liverpool defender Gomez got together on Sunday during the match between Liverpool and Manchester City (3-1). They reported to the English team on Monday and then things went wrong during the training, after which Southgate decided to keep Sterling out of selection for the meeting with Montenegro.
"With that decision, we immediately put an end to it," Southgate said at his press conference. "The way Raheem has trained is exemplary. Of course I don't know exactly what is going to happen against Montenegro, but normally Sterling simply returns to the match selection."
Due to his disciplinary punishment, Sterling misses the thousandth international match in the history of England, in which 'The Three Lions' can also qualify for the European Championship next year. Southgate therefore recognizes that the morale of Sterling is not at its best.
"I cannot imagine that he is very enthusiastic now, no. But I can understand that, because Raheem is very important to us. He nevertheless shows at the training sessions that he enjoys football, so this discussion is somewhat I am concerned. "
Joe Gomez and Raheem Sterling got to work together on Sunday. (Photo: Pro Shots)
"Players need to know that I care about them"
According to renowned British media such as The Guardian , the players' group would find Southgate's decision exaggerated. Former internationals have also expressed criticism about passing Sterling, but the national coach does not think that his position is less strong now.
"I hope all my players know that I care about them, that I want to be honest and that they can always fall back on me. And I also accept that the players do not always have a smile on their face when they see me walking . That is part of being a manager. "
England can qualify for the European Championship with two rounds to go. The semi-finalist of the 2018 World Cup only needs one point against Montenegro to secure a spot among the first two in group A.
The duel between England and Montenegro starts at 8.45 PM at Wembley. Number two Czech Republic will play a home match against number three Kosovo on Thursday, which will receive England on Sunday.
Stand in group A
- 1. England 6-15 (+20)
- 2. Czech Republic 6-12 (+2)
- 3. Kosovo 6-11 (+2)
- 4. Montenegro 7-3 (-12)
- 5. Bulgaria 7-3 (-12)
View the program, the results and the positions in the European Championship qualification