Football is a game played on emotions and, as such, it makes sense for scuffles to go down from time to time. Whether it be handbags on the pitch or fights behind the scenes, it’s pretty safe to say that incidents happen every single week – some we know about, and some we don’t.
This past weekend Liverpool and Manchester City went toe to toe at Anfield, and in the midst of the high stakes affair, Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez went toe to toe and had a square off.
A silly incident
While it seemed as if the issue was resolved, that clearly wasn’t the case as the two men came to blows during their time on international duty. As a direct result, as reported by The Telegraph and BBC, Sterling has been pulled from the England squad for their upcoming internationals.
England manager Gareth Southgate came out and spoke about the situation as opposed to burying in the sand, which a lot of Three Lions fans will appreciate.
“I love all of my players. We are like a family. The important thing is for a family to communicate and work through problems,” said Southgate.
“I don’t expect as a manager to not have to deal with issues.”
“In the end I have to find the right solution for the group,” added Southgate.
“That’s a difficult line, you try to be fair when dealing with all players. I won’t always get that right but I am the manager.
“Raheem is very important for us but I felt it was the right thing.”
On the other hand Raheem had the following to say, without actually deciding to issue an apology which has caused a bit of controversy to say the least.
“Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on,” Sterling said.
“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.
“This is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10 second thing… it’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.
“Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday,” Sterling added.
It’s a shame that this has happened in the lead-up to the big 1000th international game against Montenegro, which could see England officially book their ticket to next year’s UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.
Alas, while it is a knock to the team that Sterling won’t be featuring, that doesn’t really matter when you compare it to what it could mean for him as a player. Everyone is well aware of the fact that these incidents happen every so often but you never want things like this to tarnish your reputation.
We personally don’t think it’ll impact Raheem all too much, but as we’ve seen and spoken about in the past, football is a funny game and people can hold grudges.