Liverpool’s dramatic 3-1 win against Manchester City was marred in controversy and heated exchanges. Just a day later Joe Gomez, and Raheem Sterling – still seething after the defeat – came to blows (again).
It seemed as if the dust was just beginning to settle – evidently not. Reports soon surfaced early last week that the two Englishman – who were at each other’s throats on Sunday – had been involved in another altercation at St George’s Park.
Sterling – the antagonist – was subsequently dropped for the upcoming home international against Montenegro by Gareth Southgate.
Reports claim that there was ‘banter’ between players when Gomez went to shake Sterling’s hand. But the City forward chose instead to grab Gomez’s neck and raise his voice. “You think you’re the big man now?” was the phrase Sterling supposedly used before teammates broke the two up.
A day later, Gomez was pictured with a noticeable scratch below his right eye. Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, by all accounts, was the peacemaker – the result of a single phone call.
As more details about the altercation came to light, Sterling took to Twitter to apologise. It is now confirmed, however, they had already spoken and made up later on Monday.
Squashed by both parties, the drama was swept under the carpet. For now at least.
But when Gomez entered the fray at Wembley on Thursday night, a chorus of boos (from his own fans) was audible.
A video released online afterwards, from the viewpoint of home fans in the stands, is pretty damming. One England ‘fan’ can be heard shouting, “he is the reason I can’t see Sterling play tonight!”
The cold reception all seemed quite bizarre. Gomez was surely the victim not the perpetrator, no?
Cameras even picked up Sterling applauding Gomez’s introduction. So Sterling – perhaps embarressed – AGAIN took to twitter to reinforce his public apology.
Gomez later left the England camp and returned to Liverpool due to small knock picked up in training, yet another injury set back to add to his woes.
Scouse not English:
Ultimately, an incident like this can happen in football. Emotions run high, especially in the aftermath of club matches where the stakes are so high.
What is unacceptable is the reaction and response from an ignorant and selfish set of supporters.
Of course it’s a minority. However, Liverpool fans are often ridiculed for not taking as much interest in the England national team in comparison to other fans up and down the country.
There are numerous factors as to why many Liverpool fans think this way, mainly due to politics and history. But situations such as this can only strengthen the sense of animosity.
Ridiculed. Jeered. Taunted. The young Englishman will now have to pick himself up and go again.