MX23RW : Friday, December 6 05:35:41| >> :600:1888292:1888292:
Nov 14, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at ​Wembley Stadium
Attendance: 77,277
England
7-0
Montenegro
Oxlade-Chamberlain (11'), Kane (19', 24', 37'), Rashford (30'), Sofranac (66' og.), Abraham (84')
FT(HT: 5-0)

Yaya Toure: 'Man City will be very happy with Raheem Sterling-Joe Gomez spat'

Yaya Toure: 'Man City will be very happy with Raheem Sterling-Joe Gomez spat'
© Reuters
The former Manchester City midfielder believes there has been an over-reaction.

Yaya Toure has suggested Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola may not approve of Raheem Sterling's England ban.

England boss Gareth Southgate acted decisively after Sterling became involved in an altercation with Liverpool's Joe Gomez at St George's Park, standing the forward down from Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro, the national side's 1,000th match.

There has been plenty of debate about the incident – which had its origins 24 hours earlier when the players clashed during a top-of-the-table Premier League clash at Anfield – with some supporting Southgate's action and others deeming it harsh.

Yaya Toure (back) is fully behind Raheem Sterling (front).
Yaya Toure (right) is fully behind Raheem Sterling (left). (Martin Rickett/PA)

Toure sides with his former City team-mate, believing the issue has been overblown.

"Pep Guardiola could be a little bit disappointed with him (Southgate)," Toure told Sky Sports News.

"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.

Toure thinks Pep Guardiola might not agree with the decision.
Toure thinks Pep Guardiola might not agree with the decision (Peter Byrne/PA)

"I think people are overreacting because in training this can happen. In the game they were face to face and then straight to the international team.

"The manager does not have to be involved. It's not good for the player's mentality. Raheem is one of the best players in England at the moment."

Toure went on to point out the pressures bearing on Sterling, adding:

"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 FA (@FA) October 14, 2019

Toure, 36, elaborated on the theme of racial abuse of which he has bitter personal experience.

He called for more action at the top of the game and said England leaving the pitch after being subjected to vile racist taunts in last month's game in Bulgaria would have been a welcome move.

"I would have loved it. I would be happy, it would deliver the biggest message," he said.

"I think what players need to do now is just go out. Leaving the pitch will send a big message to FIFA and UEFA and show them these footballers are more important.

"There needs to be a solution, FIFA needs people who will work on this case especially."

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England manager Gareth Southgate during the press conference on November 12, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool15141037142343
2Leicester CityLeicester1511223592635
3Manchester CityMan City15102343172632
4Chelsea159243021929
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolves155822117423
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd155642318521
7Crystal Palace156361418-421
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs155552523220
9Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd154741715219
10Arsenal154742123-219
11Newcastle UnitedNewcastle155461522-719
12Burnley155372124-318
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton155371822-418
14Bournemouth154471821-316
15West Ham UnitedWest Ham154471725-816
16Aston Villa154382224-215
17Southampton154381733-1615
18Everton154291627-1114
19Norwich CityNorwich1532101632-1611
20Watford15159930-218

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