England stars must act as ambassadors: Southgate demands better discipline

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Gareth Southgate will not set strict limits when it comes to team discipline, but the England manager expects his players to be “reliable” and “good ambassadors”.

Harry Maguire, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been involved in high-profile incidents in recent months that led to their removal from the service of the Three Lions.

A violation of coronavirus isolation rules while in Iceland proved costly for Manchester City playmaker Foden and Manchester United striker Greenwood in September.

The pair appeared in a Snapchat video posted by one of the women who were said to be socializing at the England team hotel in Iceland, a gathering that was later banned under the country’s strict rules in response to COVID-19. .

Both were sent home and missed a subsequent game against Denmark, although Foden was called up for England’s matches against the Republic of Ireland, Belgium and Iceland last month.

Maguire also made headlines for the wrong reasons in August after he was arrested while on vacation on the Greek island of Mykonos.

The 27-year-old, who was originally selected and later removed from October’s international games, is appealing a suspended prison sentence after he was convicted of aggravated battery, resisting arrest and attempted bribery.

While Southgate is not prepared to set strict rules for its players, it expects them to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.

“I think all clubs will want to minimize the problems,” he told a news conference.

“On a broader level, I mentioned the responsibilities of being an England player. That shows the change in landscape for any player involved with us.

“We want the country to connect with the team, to be proud of the team and to be good ambassadors for everything we are trying to do.

“Reliability is part of our criteria. I am not going to say that this is the line, and whoever crosses it we do not consider it, but we are always observing how professional they are and what they will be like if they stay with us 35-40 days. All of that has to enter our thinking. “

Southgate spoke after England met Poland, Hungary, Albania, Andorra and San Marino in Group I for qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

That means a meeting with Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, who has started the season brilliantly for Bayern Munich.

After 55 goals in all competitions last season for the Bundesliga and Champions League winners, Lewandowski has already looted 15 goals this campaign.

Southgate is a fan of the 32-year-old and says his defenders will enjoy the opportunity to try and chain one of the best forwards in the world.

“He’s an incredible spiker,” Southgate added. “I love the way he plays. He has an excellent game in every way, protecting the ball, putting others at stake. All different types of finishes.

“It is a great talisman for Poland. It’s a great challenge for our defenders to face center forwards like that.

“In the modern game, there are not that many number nine, but Lewandowski is absolutely in that mold.”

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