Former England captain John Terry has declared “I don’t agree” with manager Gareth Southgate’s firm decision to temporarily side-line Raheem Sterling in the wake of his altercation with Joe Gomez.
Sterling, 24, was handed an internal one-game ban for Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifying demolition of Montenegro because of a physical confrontation with Gomez on Monday at St George’s Park National Football Centre. This followed 24 hours after the pair’s spat when the superstar forward’s Manchester City were beaten 3-1 by defender Gomez’s Liverpool in a critical Premier League title clash.
The decision was hotly debated throughout the build-up to the 7-0 thrashing that confirmed the Three Lions’ berth, in emphatic fashion, at next summer’s tournament, while Gomez was shockingly booed by elements of the Wembley crowd. Former international skipper Terry – who wore the armband 34 times from 78 caps – instead declared that exhibitions of “passion” should be the “way we want players” in an era when its supposed absence is widely derided.
“I think nowadays people talk about players earning too much money, people not caring about football and they are in it for one thing… You’ve got two players [Sterling and Gomez] at probably the best-two clubs in the world [City and Liverpool] at the minute, coming in a day later and caring about what happened the day before,” said the 38-year-old Chelsea icon and current Aston Villa assistant head coach, speaking to Sport360° as part of Dubai Fitness Challenge at Kite Beach Fitness Village Presented By ENOC In Association with Etisalat and Meraas.
“I quite like that. That shows passion for me, that shows that people care.
“Obviously, there is a boundary. He’s [Sterling’s], obviously, overstepped it and acknowledged that.
“But to ban him from the [Montenegro] game, I don’t agree.
“If they are caring like that for their club and country, that’s the way we want players.”
Sterling will be restored to the side for Sunday’s Group A-finale at Kosovo.
Terry, meanwhile, was thrilled to see the huge turnout at Kite Beach for the final weekend of this year’s DFC.
He said: “It’s so great to see everybody out. Obviously, the concept is 30 minutes a day for 30 days and you can see so many people here.
“There are so many different activities; football, volleyball, weightlifting, Zumba – it’s incredible.
“It was freezing cold when I left (England), so it’s nice to arrive to a bit of sunshine.”
DFC returns from October 18 to November 16 to transform Dubai into the most active city in the world.
Launched in 2017, this initiative challenges everyone in the city to complete 30 minutes of activity a day for 30 days. DFC heralds a month-long calendar of exciting fitness events and wellness-focused entertainment to keep Dubai up and on its feet.
Visit dubaifitnesschallenge.com for more details.