Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler says training ground rows happen all the time after the very public altercation between Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez in the England camp.
Manager Gareth Southgate will not select Sterling for Thursday’s European Qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley after the Manchester City star was involved in an argument with Gomez at the national team’s St George’s Park training base.
It was a continuation of hostility which was sparked during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over City at Anfield on Sunday with Southgate likening the row to a family disagreement and insisting the group are united.
“It’s probably not ideal in terms of getting the right camaraderie in the camp but the player has obviously apologised and both are happy with what’s happened and been said since.
“The manager has made his statement – I probably don’t agree with it to be honest as if it was a World Cup semi-final a player wouldn’t be getting dropped.
“But I can’t sit here and have a go at Gareth Southgate – he’s dealt with it in the way he sees fit and players are players. We should draw a line under it now and move on.”
‘Training ground spat didn’t help my Liverpool career’
England’s recent incident also sparked memories of Fowler’s own training ground confrontation back in 2001 with Liverpool assistant manager Phil Thompson.
The forward was subsequently dropped for the Charity Shield game against Manchester United and although Fowler believes it didn’t end his Anfield career, it certainly didn’t help.
“When I wasn’t playing I wasn’t a nice person as I wanted to play all the time,” Fowler admits. “I let my anger out in a number of ways that probably wasn’t ideal.
“Was that the reason why I left Liverpool? It wasn’t pivotal but it is certainly one of the reasons and I probably think I knew my days were numbered anyway.
“A lot of clubs were trying to get me out of the club at the time and Liverpool were talking to them.
“So I sort of knew I wasn’t in the manager’s plans and if a manager deems you not as good as others it’s hard to take.
“I always felt I was better than what was there and that’s not me being egotistical, I would have backed my record against anyone.
“But ultimately when you finish your career you sit back and realise managers are entitled to pick any team and any players he wants.
“You’ve got to move on though and I’ve more than made up with everyone since but perhaps I should have made up with Phil [Thompson] a lot earlier and I may have got another medal.”
Robbie Fowler was speaking to Sky Sports News ahead of the release of his new book, ‘Robbie Fowler – My Life in Football ‘, which is out on November 14.
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