England manager Gareth Southgate has warned his players not to use social media “too regularly” ahead of Qatar 2022.
Speaking to Sky News‘ Rob Harris on 11 November after having revealed his 26-man World Cup squad on Thursday, the Three Lions boss said he has advised his travelling team to avoid social media platforms before, during and after the tournament — at least too often, anyway.
“I would always advise players not to use social media too regularly but that’s the world they live in”, says Southgate, conceding that he has to “allow adults to make adult decisions.”
Describing what is on the one hand “the second-best period in English football” in terms of progress in the previous two tournaments, the 52-year-old couldn’t help but also reflect on the negative side of his team’s recent experiences.
Referencing the horrific racist abuse that the likes of Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho received following the penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, Southgate’s focus is not only on the football itself but keeping the team spirit and morale intact through the competition.
In terms of reporting any potential abuse that may occur this World Cup, he went on to explain that the players have already “had people come and speak to them and explain that process helps them go and find the guilty parties”, urging England players and anyone online to speak up should any incidents arise.
However, he admitted that FA can only “do [their] bit” on the front and hopes both the UK government and social media companies “keep pushing… to try and control that the best they can.”
Southgate hasn’t banned the use of social media in Qatar though, declaring instead that “as long as you can rationalise that and not let it affect your happiness and your mood, then that’s fine.”
Southgate went on to stand firm behind his squad selection which omitted the likes of Sancho, insisting that he has simply picked the team he thinks will give England “the best chance of winning the tournament”.
In the past, he has often been criticised for having his ‘favourites’ and sometimes choosing too many defensive-minded players. That being said, there are plenty of progressive ball-playing midfielders and attackers in this particular squad.
The man himself isn’t on any social media but will no doubt also be a target following any potentially poor performances and many fans have been calling for him to be sacked for some time. It feels like make-or-break time for the coach.
Police issue update after Sterling flies home from World Cup following home invasion
Surrey Police have issued an update following Raheem Sterling’s home invasion that has forced the England international to fly home from the 2022 World Cup.
The former Manchester City star was left out of the Three Lions squad against Senegal due to a “family matter” on Sunday before the exact circumstances were confirmed shortly after.
Authorities have now verified that hundreds of thousands of pounds of goods had been stolen from the property but that, fortunately, “no threat of violence was involved”.
Sterling flew just hours after hearing of the break-in at his home Leatherhead home where he lives with his fiancé and two children.
Manager Gareth Southgate could not confirm whether the Chelsea player will be returning to the squad, insisting that, obviously, “the priority is for him to be with his family” and that they will “give him as much time as he needs”.
The police force said in a statement: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.
“Police were contacted just before 9pm on Saturday, December 3rd after the occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items including jewellery and watches had been stolen.
“Inquiries to establish the circumstances are underway and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively. Inquiries into the circumstances are ongoing.”
Grealish holds his hands up over Almirón dig: ‘I do stupid stuff’
Jack Grealish has finally held his hands up after mocking Miguel Almirón, assuring that while he has made mistakes in career, he has a “good heart”.
Speaking to the media at the national camp in Qatar, the footballer was asked about his now-infamous dig at the Newcastle player, quipping that teammate Riyad Mahrez “played like Almirón” in a sub-par performance during Manchester City‘s 2021/22 title-winning match back in May.
Ironically, Grealish‘s Almiron joke has preceded an incredible run of form from the winger this year, arguably being their player of the season with eight goals to his name already.
Despite the 28-year-old insisting he has “never really paid attention” to what people say about him, he will have inevitably seen the viral clip.
Nevertheless, the England and City star took accountability for the unnecessary outburst, confessing, “I do stupid stuff, that was one”, whilst assuring: “Obviously I’ve done stupid stuff in my life but I think everything that I do good is from my heart.”
The 27-year-old went on to say that describe his Premier League peer as a “great player”, adding: “what a guy… if that was me and somebody had said that about me, I’d have probably been the other way and been like: ‘f*** it'”.
While he said he didn’t think the drunken video would go public, he knows it wasn’t the most professional of moments and that not only is he “buzzing” to see Almirón playing so well but that he will be sure to “show him the most respect” the next time they meet on the pitch.