England manager Gareth Southgate has moved to extinguish the fire of the bust-up between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez. Southgate has compared his England squad to a "family" after the altercation between Sterling and Gomez. His comments come after the Liverpool vs Manchester City rivalry boiled over to the England squad when Manchester City's Raheem Sterling was involved in a physical altercation with Liverpool's Joe Gomez.
Gareth Southgate moved to quell any fears of a rift in the England squad during a press conference on Tuesday. Southgate played down the magnitude of the incident and claimed that he loves all of his players and that the important thing for his "family" (read: England squad) is to communicate and work through any problems that may arise. However, Southgate has stood by his decision to leave Sterling out of the squad for England's upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.
Joe Gomez was brought on late in the Liverpool vs Manchester City game in place of Mohamed Salah. Gomez and Sterling were then involved in a minor tussle during the dying minutes of the game when Sterling tried to steal the ball away from Joe Gomez. Tensions boiled over when Gomez proved to be too strong for Sterling and Sterling failed in his challenge. Gomez then appeared to shove the Man City winger, but the two were then separated by the rest of the players on the pitch.
Raheem Sterling has scored more goals than any Premier League player across all competitions in 2019/20 (14) and has been directly involved in more #EURO2020 qualifying goals (13) than any other England player.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 11, 2019
A big call. https://t.co/lIjrLLovqg
Sterling then carried these tensions over to St. George's Park where the England squad gathered for training prior to their Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro. Sterling was once again involved in an altercation with the Liverpool centre-back when he had a furious row with Gomez just 24 hours after the Liverpool vs Man City game. However, Sterling then made peace with Gomez and also released a statement of apology on social media claiming that the pair had figured things out after the incident. Despite the apology, Gareth Southgate has opted to leave Raheem Sterling out of the squad to face Montenegro. Interestingly, the game against Montenegro will also be England's 1000th game in world football.