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"It was dreadful management" | Giles on Southgate's Sterling omission

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

19:25 14 Nov 2019

Gareth Southgate's handling of the Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez bust-up while on England duty was "dreadful management", according to John Giles. 

Sterling and Gomez squared up to each other towards the end of the Liverpool v Manchester City clash last weekend and the tension carried over to the England camp when Sterling exchanged words with Gomez, triggering teammates to have to separate the pair.

Giles was speaking on Thursday's Off The Ball and criticised Southgate's decision to publicise the incident and subsequently drop Sterling from England's squad to face Montenegro tonight.

"These things happen. It wasn't like anyone was killed. To leave him out of the team – I think it was dreadful management," the Ireland legend said.

"Some of the things that Southgate has been saying... He said the decision has been made with the support of the entire squad but reporters have said this isn't strictly true.

"Some [players] felt the punishment was too severe and others felt the matter should not have been made public at all."

southgate Liverpool's Joe Gomez (right) and Manchester City's Raheem Sterling clash during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool.

Giles also found fault with Southgate's use of a group of players – "the leadership team" – to help him make the decision to omit Sterling from the Montenegro squad.

"And then he said in front of the microphones, 'I have discussed with all my staff and the leadership team, but ultimately I made the decision.'

"If you're discussing things with people like that, why do you have to have a discussion with them, if you're ultimately the manager and you say its your decision?"

"I don't get it at all."

The former Ireland manager and Leeds legend added that bust-ups and confrontations happen all the time in football and don't need to be made a big deal out of.

"You don't have to push it under the carpet but you can come out and make a statement and say, 'Yes there was something last night but the players have made up and Sterling said he was sorry and that's the end of it.'

"These things happen in clubs and international squads and all types of squads. I think he made a mess of it, he made too much of it.

"He could have handled it. He could have said to Raheem Sterling, 'I'm not happy about the situation.'

"They are not going to be fighting every day of the week and Sterling doesn't seem like an aggressive guy.

"It's not lads going out drinking and coming in late, then you have to really snap down on it but when it's something like this he could have had a word and said, 'You were out of order there.'"

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Read more about

England Gareth Southgate Joe Gomez Liverpool Manchester City Raheem Sterling

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