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Scholes slams Southgate for dropping Foden and Greenwood as England boss insists he had to ‘protect culture’

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scholes slams southgate for dropping foden and greenwood as england boss insists he had to protect culture

PAUL SCHOLES has hit out at Gareth Southgate for axing Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden – claiming England do not have enough matchwinners to continue punishing the pair.

Scholes claims Foden and Greenwood have suffered enough for breaking lockdown rules in Iceland by inviting two girls back to the team hotel.

Gareth Southgate says he could not risk the standards in the England squad by selecting Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden

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Gareth Southgate says he could not risk the standards in the England squad by selecting Mason Greenwood and Phil FodenCredit: PA:Press Association
Shamed Man Utd striker Greenwood will miss at least the next three England games

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Shamed Man Utd striker Greenwood will miss at least the next three England gamesCredit: Rex Features
Man City midfielder Foden is also paying for his decision to break lockdown rules in Iceland as England omit him

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Man City midfielder Foden is also paying for his decision to break lockdown rules in Iceland as England omit himCredit: Rex Features

The former Three Lions midfielder wrote on Instagram, before deleting the post: “Two of the best young talents in world football did wrong and have already served their punishment, but England are so clearly blessed with creativity and goalscorers that we might as well leave them out and punish them and the team again.”

Scholes finished the message with three sarcastic clapping emojis in a clear dig at the decision to leave the young duo out of the squad to face Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

But boss Southgate says it would have been “impossible” for him to select Manchester City playmaker Foden and United striker Greenwood as early as this month – because he wants to protect the squad’s culture and standards.

He has avoided speaking to the pair since they breached coronavirus rules and will only stage talks ahead of the next international break in November.

Southgate stressed it was important to punish the duo to send fans a firm message that poor behaviour from players would not be tolerated — while also warning the squad’s youngsters about the standards required on England duty.

Foden, 20, and Greenwood, 18, were sent home following the 1-0 win in Iceland last month, so missing the 0-0 bore draw in Denmark.

The players know what they did wasn’t acceptable… The next discussion with the players is the important one as we have taken the decision to leave them with their clubs this time.

Gareth Southgate

Southgate said: “I had a chat with both of them before we left Iceland to go to Denmark and explained how difficult the next few days were going to be for them so I tried to offer some support.

“But also I was pretty clear that it was going to be impossible to pick them for October.

“I’ll definitely speak to them before the next camp because we were never going to consider them for this one.

“In terms of the broader message, number one, I just think that the last few years we’ve re-connected really well with the public and we’ve got to make sure we protect that.

“And number two, there are standards of working as a team and your culture as a team that are really important to protect.

“The players know that what they did wasn’t acceptable. We needed that message to go out to all players who are involved with England at every age group.

“The next discussion with the players is the important one really because we have taken the decision to leave them with their clubs this time.”

England squad new boy Harvey Barnes "impressed" Gareth Southgate with his counter-attacking in Leicester's 5-2 win at Man City

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England squad new boy Harvey Barnes “impressed” Gareth Southgate with his counter-attacking in Leicester’s 5-2 win at Man CityCredit: PA
Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, newly called up by England, has been hailed by Gareth Southgate as an exciting talent down the left

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Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka, newly called up by England, has been hailed by Gareth Southgate as an exciting talent down the leftCredit: PA
Ex-England U-21 star Dominic Calvert-Lewin has earned promotion to the senior squad after eight goals in five Everton games this season

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Ex-England U-21 star Dominic Calvert-Lewin has earned promotion to the senior squad after eight goals in five Everton games this seasonCredit: PA

Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Harvey Barnes and Bukayo Saka have been given their first call-ups, while Dean Henderson, Kalvin Phillips, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Jack Grealish are among the other newcomers to the party.

As a result, Southgate will remind the squad of their responsibilities at a team meeting ahead of next Thursday’s Wembley friendly with Wales.

England then host Belgium and Denmark in the Nations League.

Southgate said: “Players who have worked with us for a long time know how we operate and know that we won’t duck decisions. But we also have some younger players in the group.

“The team group is constantly evolving as players come and go. So you have always got to keep affecting that, keep addressing that.

“We will discuss the shirt, what it means to wear the shirt and some reminders on how we work — but that’s not a case of reading the riot act.”

Harry Maguire is also back in the England squad after he was dropped from duty for the last two games following his arrest while on holiday in Greece.

Southgate added: “I think I said last month there was absolutely no reason we couldn’t pick Harry this time.

“He has been our most reliable defender over the last couple of years, so it was not even a consideration that he would be in the squad or not.”

Gareth Southgate announces England squad with Foden and Greenwood out but Saka, Calvert-Lewin and Barnes in

This post first appeared on thesun.co.uk

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Dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for Manchester City against Porto

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dias showed what he is about by bouncing back from error to shine for manchester city against porto

Manchester City‘s detractors might say that Ruben Dias has settled in already. He strode out from the back, purposefully attempted to pass through the lines, gave away possession and the opposition scored on the break.

A fair few central defenders have done that in this stadium over the years and it was not the £64million signing’s finest moment in what has been an encouraging start to his City career.

But he has bashfully rejected comparisons with Vincent Kompany, and severe criticism would be premature. If nothing else, City at least appear more stable for the inclusion of Dias, which is a significant step forward.

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola will take heart from how Ruben Dias recovered after his early mistake

Pep Guardiola’s hunt for someone to slot alongside Aymeric Laporte has been a long one, taking in at least five targets over the last 18 months.

City settled on Dias and have already benefited from his rugged defensive ability — a bit of grit in a unit that has been far too porous.

In that sense, the 23-year-old has borrowed a fair amount from his mentor Pepe, described by those around the Portugal squad as something of a father figure. 

Pepe — who captained Porto on Wednesday night — has been one of the best, an unashamed master of the old art for well over a decade. City need that. 

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City's backline

The 23-year-old defender has injected a bit of grit and leadership into City’s backline

There will be time to finesse Dias’s distribution when they finally get the chance to take training sessions that are not focused on recovery from the last match or preparation for the next.

What they do not need to hone is his leadership. Although young, Dias has that in abundance, with a ‘mentality of a champion’, according to those who know him. 

His English is flawless and Guardiola will take heart from how he approached this game after his early mistake — notably when he jockeyed Luis Diaz for 20 yards and held him up as Porto threatened to nudge ahead for a second time.

Many who went before him wilted in adversity. There was some evidence here that Dias is made of stronger stuff.

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday's Champions League victory over Porto

Dias speaks to Eric Garcia during Wednesday’s Champions League victory over Porto

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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Klopp praises Gomez and Fabinho but warns his players ‘there is a lot to improve’ after Ajax win

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klopp praises gomez and fabinho but warns his players there is a lot to improve after ajax win

Jurgen Klopp hailed Liverpool‘s battling qualities that enabled them to emerge from a ‘pressure situation’ in Amsterdam with a confidence restoring victory.

Liverpool beat Ajax 1-0 thanks to an own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico but their performance in their opening Group D fixture was characterised by the way midfielder Fabinho moved back into central defence and never put a foot wrong.

The highlight of his display came just before half-time, when he acrobatically scooped Dusan Tadic’s lob off the line. Ajax were a nuisance throughout and they came close to grabbing an equaliser when Davy Klaassen hit a post early in the second period.

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

Jurgen Klopp was impressed with how his Liverpool team battled to win three points at Ajax

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

An own goal from Nicolas Tagliafico in the first half was enough for Liverpool to win the game

Klopp conceded there is still significant room for improvement in Liverpool’s form but, after a turbulent week that began with Virgil van Dijk being ruled out for the majority of the season, the manager was delighted with his team’s determination.

‘Was there pressure in the situation? Yes,’ said Klopp. ‘It (a clean sheet) is huge but we are not dumb enough to think we didn’t need a bit of luck as Fabinho needed to make a proper stretch to get that ball from the line and they hit the post.

‘The clean sheet is one information but we could have done better. I don’t care in the moment. We wanted to win the game and we have done that but now we don’t hang the clean sheet too high because there were two situations where we were not far away from perfect.

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez's performance

Liverpool registered a clean sheet and Klopp was complimentary of Joe Gomez’s performance

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

Fabinho was also a standout performer and made a vital goal-line clearance in the first half

‘But the result is absolutely OK. Now on Saturday night a completely different challenge. Sheffield United have had their legs on the sofa and we need to recover quickly. It was a good performance but there is a lot to improve – and that is good.’

All eyes were on Fabinho and Joe Gomez, given the injuries to Van Dijk and Joel Matip, but Klopp did not have any doubts about whether the Brazilian would be able to cope with the different demands that were asked of him.

‘For the two at the back, it was their first game together,’ said Klopp. ‘They need to get used to each other, they need to get used to the verbal demands. Fabinho can play the position, he likes playing it actually. If I asked him to play right back I don’t think he would enjoy it as much.

‘In our situation we have to keep those boys fit. I’m not surprised Fabinho plays in the position, otherwise I would have thought about a different solution. That would have been tricky but I’m really pleased.’

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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‘We are struggling at the moment’: Ilkay Gundogan admits Manchester City are not their usual best

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we are struggling at the moment ilkay gundogan admits manchester city are not their usual best

Ilkay Gundogan has said that Manchester City still haven’t found top gear this season despite a strong second-half display against Porto.

Gundogan scored a sublime free-kick in City’s 3-1 Group C victory in the Champions League on Wednesday night.

City did, however, go behind through Luis Diaz’s goal in the first half which exposed frailties in Pep Guardiola‘s defence.

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City's second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

Ilkay Gundogan scored Manchester City’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Porto at the Etihad

And while City have won two of their opening four Premier League games, Gundogan believes they are still some way off their best.

He said: ‘If I’m being honest we are struggling at the moment.’

City were dealt a further fitness blow late on in Wednesday’s win when Fernandinho, who came on as a substitute in the 85th minute, left the pitch nine minutes later with an injury. The Brazilian midfielder could be out for four to six weeks.

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

There was bad news for City when Fernandinho went off injured nine minutes after coming on

Nathan Ake wasn’t included in City’s squad against Porto, raising doubts over his fitness and whether he will play against West Ham on Saturday.

Gundogan, who admits he still isn’t fully fit having tested positive for coronavirus last month, added it would be easy for Guardiola to rotate because of City’s fitness problems.

He said: ‘Fernandinho went off at the end, we have players playing in different positions. I am not 100 per cent there because I had Covid, we are not all at the same moment.

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

Pep Guardiola could be without his Brazilian defensive midfielder for four to six weeks

‘That is the challenge for this season, it’s not going to end for a while. It’s not going to be difficult for Pep to pick an XI because players are going to be tired.’

Guardiola said after the game that he was ready to take Gundogan off seconds before he scored in the 65th minute – the 29-year-old came off three minutes later. 

Guardiola added: ‘We decided before the goal he [Gundo] would go off but he made an incredible goal.’ 

This post first appeared on dailymail.co.uk

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