England coach Gareth Southgate disappointed to lose Adam Lallana

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Gareth Southgate took charge of training on Tuesday

Gareth Southgate has revealed his disappointment at losing Adam Lallana to another injury as the midfielder’s England return was cut short due to a groin strain.

Last season’s injury issues cost the 30-year-old a place in the squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals over the summer.

Lallana was recalled for the upcoming UEFA Nations League clash with Spain and friendly against Switzerland, but the Liverpool attacking midfielder will have to wait to add to his 34 caps.

The Football Association confirmed in a short statement on Tuesday that the former Southampton man was withdrawn from England’s opening training session due to a groin complaint.

“Adam Lallana has returned to his club for further assessment of a groin strain,” it read.

“The Liverpool player was withdrawn from training earlier this afternoon and will play no part in England’s forthcoming fixtures against Spain and Switzerland.”

Southgate, who included Lallana on his standby list for the World Cup despite an injury-hit 2017-18 campaign, later expressed his dismay.

“He has just picked up a muscular injury,” he told Sky Sports.

“It was quite close to the beginning of training so it is the worst thing as far as we are concerned because you never want to send players back injured.

“Adam has had such a difficult run personally. He is a player we think so much of and I know Jurgen (Klopp, Liverpool boss) does.

Missing again: Adam Lallana

Missing again: Adam Lallana

“So at the moment he is having a really difficult run and you review what you might have been able to do differently but today was just really out of the blue.

“I am really disappointed for him because he has had such a tough year – missing so much football. Hopefully he will be back strong as quickly as possible.
Lallana’s injury setback is a blow for a player that had worked with the Three Lions throughout their World Cup preparation camp, only to watch the finals from afar.

The attacking midfielder is the second player to withdraw from Gareth Southgate’s squad after Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling pulled out on Monday evening with a back problem.

While no outfield replacement has been called up for either Lallana or Sterling, the surprise name of Fulham goalkeeper Marcus Bettinelli was drafted in.

The 26-year-old was part of the Under-21s set-up when Southgate was in charge, heading to the European Championships with them in 2015.

Bettinelli won just one cap for the Young Lions and started the last two Premier League matches for Slavisa Jokanovic’s promoted side, having failed to make the first two squads.

Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and the uncapped Alex McCarthy trained with Southgate’s squad at St George’s Park on Tuesday, with the England boss explaining the maiden senior call-up for the former Chelsea youngster.

“All of our goalkeepers have been modified one way or another with their training,” he said.

“We felt it useful to bring another goalkeeper in for training. Marcus is another player we have worked with in the Under-21s in the past.

“We obviously have a situation in the Premier League at the moment where there aren’t many English goalkeepers playing.

“Marcus is very comfortable with the ball at his feet and fits that prototype of goalkeeper and there is no point in us calling up a senior goalkeeper who has worked with us in the past just for training. So it is a good opportunity for Marcus.”

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Christian Eriksen wants truce as Denmark set to field lower division players against Wales

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Christian Eriksen has called for a truce in the extraordinary row that threatens to see Denmark field uncapped players from the lower divisions against Wales on Sunday.

Denmark’s preparations for their UEFA Nations League game opener against Wales are in turmoil after an extraordinary row over the players’ commercial rights.

The Danish football Association (DBU), fearing the prospect of a UEFA ban if they do not fulfil the fixture in Aarhus, have invited players from Superligaen and the first and second divisions in domestic football to play in Denmark’s two games, rather than stars like Tottenham midfielder Eriksen and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Former Arsenal midfielder John Jensen has been named as the Denmark manager for their Nations League opener against Wales, with regular manager Age Hareide told to stay at home.

The Danes have a friendly in Slovakia on Wednesday and it has been reported in Denmark that a 23-man squad will gather on Tuesday afternoon to fly to Bratislava.

But the Danish Player Association (Spillerforeningen) have urged the DBU to reconsider and told the governing body that the national squad is willing to play the two games under the terms of their old agreement.

“We have to solve this conflict now, not just digging the ditches deeper,” Tottenham star Eriksen said in a statement published on the Spillerforeningen website.

“So we’re happy to stretch our hand again, even though DBU put it away in the first try.

“Let’s renew the old deal by one month. Then we have organised relationships right now and we are prepared to play the international matches this week.

“And then we have time after the two international matches to negotiate the entire agreement in place. It does not make sense if DBU does not accept that offer.

“The agreement has been working for years and should only run one month longer. Sign up and we will sit on the plane immediately. We are ready and we will play.”

Denmark, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer and are ninth in the FIFA rankings, have been beset by internal problems over the past 12 months.

The national women’s team boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in October 2017 in a dispute over employment conditions.

Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win and UEFA fined the DBU £18,000.

The DBU was also warned that Denmark would be barred from UEFA tournaments if it cancelled another match in the next four years.

So failing to play Wales on Sunday would almost certainly see Denmark expelled from the 2020 European Championship.

DBU chief executive Claus Bretton-Meyer said on Monday that the Wales game would go ahead, but he branded the dispute “regrettable” with the two parties holding 26 meetings on the issue in 2018.

Age Hareide has been replaced by John Jensen for Denmark's next two games.

Age Hareide has been replaced by John Jensen for Denmark’s next two games.

Eriksen added: “We could all be home in our clubs who pay our wages – at home by our wives and children.

“There is only one reason why we are here – and it’s not money.

“We are here because we love to play for Denmark – and proud of the many millions we play for children and the breadth of Danish football, and the work we do for the whole of Danish football.

“For example, making up for DBUs events and for their sponsors, as we have always done.”

DBU elite manager Kim Hallberg said: “We must hold the two international matches to avoid millions of fines and possible exclusion of the national team for several years.

“On behalf of DBU and Danish football, I am pleased that John Faxe Jensen has taken the hard task of being coach in both matches.”

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Ex-Arsenal midfielder John Jensen to lead Denmark amid row over players' commercial rights

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Age Hareide has been replaced by John Jensen for Denmark's next two games.

Former Arsenal midfielder John Jensen has been named as the Denmark manager for their UEFA Nations League opener against Wales after the row which has rocked Danish football took an extraordinary twist.

Denmark’s preparations for their game in Aarhus on Sunday are in turmoil after an extraordinary row over the players’ commercial rights.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) is set to field a team made up of domestic first and second division players in Denmark, rather than stars like Tottenham midfielder Christian Eriksen and Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Denmark are playing Slovakia in a friendly on Wednesday and DBU director Claus Bretton-Meyer told the Danish Broadcasting Corporation (DR) that they have selected a squad drawn from the first and second divisions of the domestic league.

It has also been reported in Denmark that members of the national futsal squad, an indoor five-a-side game played with a smaller and harder ball, will feature in the squad.

The DBU confirmed that the 53-year-old Jensen will be in charge of the Slovakia and Wales games rather than national-team coach Age Hareide.

“Where we are now, I see only losers in the conflict, and Danish football loses most of all,” Jensen told the official DBU website.

“When I say yes to help here, it’s because I feel very, very strong for the national team as an institution, and because I think the most important thing must be that the games will be played after all.”

Jensen, who is noted for scoring in Denmark’s Euro 1992 final victory against Germany, spent eight months coaching in the Premier League at Blackburn in 2011.

He went on to become a consultant at Brondby and spent fours years in charge of Danish club Fremad Amager between 2014 and 2018.

“I do not consider the matter between DBU and the players, my yes is not an expression of it,” Jensen said. “I just hope to help us get through the two matches and that the parties find a solution as soon as possible.

“The national team has meant infinitely much to me in my career and in my life.

“It hurts to follow this course, and I hope my contribution can help mitigate the negative consequences.”

Denmark, who reached the last 16 of the World Cup in Russia this summer and are ninth in the FIFA rankings, have been beset by internal problems over the past 12 months.

The national women’s team boycotted a World Cup qualifier against Sweden in October 2017 in a dispute over employment conditions.

Sweden were awarded a 3-0 win and UEFA fined the DBU £18,000, and also warned that Denmark would be barred from UEFA tournaments if it cancelled another match in the next four years.

So failing to play Wales would almost certainly see Denmark expelled from the 2020 European Championship.

DBU elite manager Kim Hallberg said: “We must hold teams in the two international matches to avoid millions of fines and possible exclusion of the national team for several years.

“On behalf of DBU and Danish football, I am pleased that John Faxe Jensen has taken the hard task of being coach in both matches.”

Tottenham midfielder Eriksen had earlier called for a truce in the row and said Denmark’s players were willing to play the two games under the terms of the old commercial rights agreement.

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