Yaya Toure has criticised England manager Gareth Southgate’s handling of Raheem Sterling’s clash with Joe Gomez, saying ‘people are overreacting’.
Manchester City winger Sterling has been dropped for England’s clash with Montenegro at Wembley tonight following his angry confrontation with the Liverpool defender on Monday after tensions had spilled over from their huge Premier League meeting between the two clubs the previous day.
The dispute has since been settled and Sterling will remain with the England squad ahead of Sunday’s fixture against Kosovo, though former Man City teammate Toure believes Southgate has handled the situation poorly and defended the 24-year-old who is still ‘young and learning’.
“I think people are overreacting because in training this can happen. In the game (on Sunday) they were face to face and then straight to the international team,” he told Sky Sports.
“It can happen, me and brother we fight, we argue, we smash each other. The manager should just take him away. It’s not good for the player’s mentality.
“Raheem is one of the best players in England at the moment. I think Harry Kane is not in his best moment, Raheem is the best player for England.
“For him to be in this kind of situation, with all the pressure around him and on his shoulders, he has to deal with racism, plus the fact he was playing at Anfield where the fans are booing him – it can affect him. The manager does not have to be involved.
“Pep Guardiola could be a little bit disappointed with him [Southgate]. Raheem is still young and learning. If my player acted like that, being angry and showing himself like this, I would be very happy. This means he wants to win and achieve – that is important. A player without this character, for me, is nonsense.”