Manchester City man Sterling will miss this week's home international.

Joe Gomez trains with Raheem Sterling sporting scratch under eye after bust-up

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  • 2019-11-12 21:10:11 2 months ago
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Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez both trained with England on Tuesday morning as the fall-out from their altercation at St George's Park rumbles on.

The Football Association announced late on Monday evening that the Manchester City forward would not be considered for Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after an incident in the Three Lions camp.

Sterling was involved in a clash with Gomez towards the end of Liverpool's 3-1 win at Anfield on Sunday and emotions boiled over the pair joined up with Gareth Southgate's England squad the following day.

Raheem Sterling trained with England on Tuesday
Raheem Sterling trained with England on Tuesday (Mike Egerton/PA)

The PA news agency understands the pair were again involved in a heated exchange at St George's Park, leading the FA to remarkably confirm that star man Sterling will sit out Thursday's fixture with Montenegro.

With interest piqued, cameras were focused on the practice pitch for open training on Tuesday morning.

Both players emerged as part of the group for the morning session, with Gomez appearing to sport a cut close to his right eye. Sterling was hard to spot underneath a woolly hat and a snood.

The fracas between the pair is an astonishing situation and is sure to dominate the build-up to Thursday's qualifier, which not only offers the chance to seal progress but is England's 1,000th international fixture.

Sterling has already given his take, writing in a late-night Instagram post that "emotions got the better of me" and that he and Gomez "understand it was a 5-10 second thing and it's done".

Sterling added:  "Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on" and "we move forward and not make this bigger than it is."

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Speaking as part of the FA statement confirming the incident, Southgate said: "We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.

"One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we've been able to separate club rivalries from the national team.

"Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday's game were still raw. My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken.

"Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad it's important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night."

Southgate was initially only speaking to the media at Wednesday's pre-match press conference, but the England manager will now face the cameras on Tuesday afternoon.

Sterling and Gomez clashed on Sunday
Sterling and Gomez clashed on Sunday (Peter Byrne/PA)

Some of the squad reportedly believe the treatment of Sterling has been heavy-handed and that the fallout should have been kept in house.

That is the feeling of ex-Three Lions captain Rio Ferdinand, who has criticised Southgate's handling of the situation

"I feel this incident could have been handled better," he posted on Facebook. "Keep it behind closed doors & deal with it internally surely?!

"Now Raheem is left to defend himself from all of the haters that had had their keyboards turned off due to him becoming a very worthy ambassador for the English game, and rightly so.

"If this was a terrible incident then I would be all for public shaming & discipline. But for this 'throat grab' that we are TOLD it's for I can't understand it."

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There's always handbags...

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While the handling of the situation will be pored over, ex-England team-mate Gary Neville believes it sends a "clear message" about not letting club rivalries spilling into international football.

"I've seen incidents like this dealt with in both ways with England, and there is no ideal because it's so public," the former England coach told Sky Sports.

"But the reality of it is these things happen in football and it will blow over.

"He is sending a clear message. He won't accept club rivalries coming into England.

"Even when there were great rivalries between groups of players when I was in the England squad I never really saw it brew over into the camps in a confrontational manner, it was an underlying thing. I actually think this is better.

"At least Raheem's had the, sort of, courage to go and call him out if that's how he feels.

"At least it's out in the open and it will probably force them to come together and be more open about it and actually help put it behind them, which is what Gareth Southgate will want."

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Joe Gomez trains with Raheem Sterling sporting scratch under eye after bust-up

Moise Kean dropped by Everton for breaching club rules

Everton striker Moise Kean's difficult start to his career at Goodison Park continues after it emerged he was dropped from the squad for a breach of club rules.

The PA news agency understands the £27million summer signing from Juventus was omitted from the match-day 18 for Saturday's win at Southampton after being late for a team meeting.

It was the second time manager Marco Silva had an issue with Kean's timekeeping and as a result the forward, who travelled with the squad to the south coast, was punished.

Asked at Southampton why Kean had been omitted the Toffees boss, who received an apology from the player, would only say it was "a decision, just decision".

Kean has started just four matches this season, two in the Premier League and two in the Carabao Cup, although in his last appearance he was substituted at half-time against Watford.

He has yet to score in the 11 games in which he has featured and has managed just nine shots, only one of which was on target, and one assist in 288 minutes of top-flight action.

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The career highs and lows of Raheem Sterling after being dropped by England

Raheem Sterling has been dropped for England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro following an altercation with team-mate Joe Gomez on Monday.

The incident was a hangover from the highly-charged Premier League match between Sterling's Manchester City and Gomez's Liverpool on Sunday.

It is the latest high-profile story regarding Sterling, and here the PA news agency looks at some of the forward's highs and lows.


Exit from Liverpool

Raheem Sterling left Liverpool under a cloud
Raheem Sterling left Liverpool under a cloud (Peter Byrne/PA)

By April 2015, Sterling's contract talks with Liverpool had proven an unwanted sideshow. Sterling did little to ease the situation after he participated in an ill-advised interview with the BBC, which was not sanctioned by the club. It proved a PR disaster with Sterling insisting he did not reject Liverpool's £100,000-a-week deal because he was a "money-grabbing 20-year-old". Sterling courted criticism from a host of former Liverpool players before moving to Manchester City in a £49million deal three months later.

Disappointing World Cup

Raheeem Sterling, left, failed to hit the expected heights during England's World Cup campaign
Raheem Sterling failed to hit the expected heights during England's World Cup campaign (Tim Goode/PA)

Despite featuring heavily for an England side that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time since 1990, Sterling failed to hit the heights he had set during Manchester City's Premier League-winning campaign. Sterling faced numerous calls to be axed from Gareth Southgate's starting line-up but the England manager stood by the forward. Sterling however, failed to find the back of the net in a below-par tournament.

Suffering racial abuse at Chelsea

Sterling was racially abused at Stamford Bridge
Sterling was racially abused at Stamford Bridge (Adam Davy/PA)

Last season, Sterling was subjected to racial abuse from a Chelsea supporter during Manchester City's Premier League visit to Stamford Bridge. Television footage appeared to capture the fan aiming a derogatory term at Sterling as he collected the ball in front of the home supporters. One supporter was banned for life by Chelsea while five more were barred for between one and two years for incidents at the same match.


Reaction to racist abuse

The day after the events at Stamford Bridge, Sterling issued an Instagram post accusing newspapers of "fuelling racism and aggressive behaviour" in their portrayal of young black footballers. Sterling was widely applauded for speaking up, sparking a national debate, and he has become a leading figurehead on the issue. In January, Sterling wrote a letter to a young City fan who said he had been racially abused while he has condemned racist abuse aimed at England players during recent internationals.

Becoming a key man for Pep Guardiola

Despite the wealth of star quality at Manchester City, Sterling has emerged as arguably their biggest asset. He scored 25 goals for his club last season, helping them win a treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup and has continued this season with 12 City goals to his name already in all competitions, including his first Champions League hat-trick against Atalanta. Rumours regarding interest from Real Madrid persist.

Bouncing back from the World Cup

Sterling scores against Kosovo
Sterling scores against Kosovo (Adam Davy/PA)

Refusing to lie down after a disappointing summer in 2018, Sterling bounced back with a string of match-winning displays for England. First, he scored a brace as England secured a 3-2 victory in Spain en route to the semi-finals of the Nations League before bagging a treble as the Three Lions opened their qualification campaign for Euro 2020 by hammering the Czech Republic at Wembley. He has scored in three of England's last four games and will undoubtedly be missed against Montenegro.

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