ENGLAND – Manchester United legend, Rio Ferdinand has criticised England manager, Gareth Southgate for dropping Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling from the Three Lion’s squad for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro after his bust-up with Liverpool’s Joe Gomez.
OgeneAfrican reported on Monday that Southgate had dropped Raheem Sterling for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, following an incident at their St George’s Park training base.
The incident is reported to have involved Joe Gomez, with both players having clashed during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Manchester City on Sunday.
However, Ferdinand believes Southgate should have handled the dispute between Sterling and Gomez internally, instead of dropping the forward from England squad.
“Gareth has handled being England manager brilliantly – up to this point,” Ferdinand was quoted by Express UK as saying.
“He has conducted himself in admirable, eloquent & engaging way. Helping to make a Nation feel like they can have some sort of confidence & respect for the national team.
“However, I feel this incident could have been handled better.
“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.
“So he has obviously gone into the England camp heated & gone for Gomez, in doing so grabbed Gomez by the throat. 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?
“Gareth would no doubt had seen worse many times during his time as a player and manager.
“I just feel this could and should have been handled better to support the player & not hang him out to dry.”