Behave or else! Gareth Southgate issues Euros warning to England squad and reveals acts of indiscipline put places AT RISK after Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell’s rule of six breach at secret party
- Gareth Southgate admitted ill-discipline can derail a team going for honours
- The England boss has warned stars places are at risk if their behaviour falters
- Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho became latest to breach rules
- There is a lot of competition for places in the side ahead of next summer’s Euros
The national team boss, who may hand Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Bukayo Saka their debuts against Wales on Thursday night, has told his players that he will not stand for any more off-field dramas following the Covid controversy that has led to Tammy Abraham, Jadon Sancho and Ben Chilwell missing the Wembley friendly.
Such issues take ‘focus and time and energy away from the team’ warned a clearly frustrated Southgate.
Gareth Southgate has warned his stars that ill-discipline puts their England place in doubt
Jadon Sancho will miss the Wales friendly having been found breaching social distancing
Tammy Abraham (left) and Ben Chilwell (right) were at the secret party – thrown as a surprise for Chelsea striker Abraham’s birthday – along with Borussia Dortmund star Sancho
The trio attended Abraham’s surprise 23rd birthday party on Saturday, a clear breach of Government rules because there were significantly more than six people at the gathering.
Southgate said the three players could come back into the fold for Sunday’s game against Belgium — but there is doubt over whether that is feasible with the FA still completing their investigation.
It comes after Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden broke coronavirus and disciplinary rules by bringing two women back to the team hotel last month in Iceland, and Harry Maguire’s trio of guilty verdicts following an altercation with Greek police in Mykonos.
Phil Foden (left) and Mason Greenwood (right) were in hot water in Iceland when they invited two girls to the team hotel, a clear breach of local restrictions around social distancing
Southgate said: ‘There is a big thing for us that when these sort of things happen it takes a lot of focus and time and energy away from the team. We cannot afford that.
‘If you are going into major tournaments and have those sort of incidents, they can derail you. I have seen that in the past. That wasn’t the case ahead of Russia. We went in a very calm state and that allowed us to focus on our football.
‘I saw other teams not in that position and it had a real detrimental effect on how they were able to go into the tournament.
‘I have also talked to you before about the connection with the fans which we have worked very hard on over the last three to four years to bring back.
‘Key to that has been the contribution of the players who have been with us. We have 10 this time who were with us in Russia and they have done a lot of good work with us. But some of the younger ones haven’t done that yet with England — they don’t have that credit in the bank.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin is set to be rewarded for his fine start to the season with an England cap
Burnley’s Nick Pope is set to start in goal in place of regular No 1 goalkeeper Jordan Pickford
‘They have to prove themselves and need to remember that it is an honour to play for England, and all these things, when we are selecting squads moving forward, do play a part in your thinking.’
As Sportsmail revealed on Wednesday, Nick Pope is set to start in goal ahead of Jordan Pickford, with Wolves central defender Conor Coady selected in defence. Arsenal youngster Saka is set to play at left wing-back for his debut and Harry Winks hopes to return to the England starting XI after missing the games against Iceland and Denmark through injury.
Southgate is ready to reward Everton striker Calvert-Lewin for his explosive start to the season with his senior international debut tonight, and Marcus Rashford is also hoping to play after missing the previous fixtures through injury.