‘It’s made me a bit more stand-offish’: Liverpool star Joe Gomez on how he has changed since scrap with Raheem Sterling while on England duty
- Joe Gomez says he has changed since he clashed with Raheem Sterling last year
- The Liverpool star had a scratch on his eye after the scrap on England duty
- He said he dealt with the situation and used it as an experience for the future
Joe Gomez said his infamous clash with Raheem Sterling has made him more guarded but admits he has learned from the experience.
The Liverpool defender and the Manchester City star had a physical confrontation in the canteen on England duty following on from a row when the two teams met previously in a 3-1 win for the Reds, and Gomez was left with a scratch on his eye after the scuffle.
Gareth Southgate dropped Sterling from a game against Montenegro after the coming together in November, which was revealed by Sportsmail, with Gomez receiving boos during the match at Wembley.
Joe Gomez has reflected on his altercation with Raheem Sterling while with England last year
The row originated from a coming together in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Manchester City
The 22-year-old was keen to draw a line under the incident, saying it has changed the way he approaches certain situations.
‘If anything it has made me a bit more stand-offish,’ he told the Athletic.
‘But in terms of the actual situation (with Sterling), what happened happened. We spoke. It was done. As a team it was done. So in my head it was done.
‘It was just then that the game happened with the reception.’
The pair then scuffled on England duty in the canteen and had to be separated by team-mates
Gomez emerged the next day in training with a large scratch on his eye going down to his neck
JOE GOMEZ FOR THE THREE LIONS
Debut: v Germany (2017)
Gomez, who is enjoying a solid season for Liverpool as they romp towards a first league title in 30 years, says his altercation with Sterling will help him grow as a person after heavy scrutiny and media attention placed on him in the days after the story came out.
‘I haven’t really processed it,’ he added. ‘With what happened brings experience.
‘I went out to train and I knew that the first session after it came out publicly, eyes were going to be on me.
‘I was never used to that before. So, good or bad, it was an experience.’
The fight between the players, which started after Sterling asked him ‘Still the big man?’, following their disagreement in the Premier League. The City star then reportedly put Gomez in a headlock, with team-mates then attempting to pull them apart in the canteen. Gomez ended up with a conspicuous scratch on his face.
The Liverpool star was booed by fans when was sent on against Montenegro at Wembley
The FA took the incident so seriously that they asked Gomez if he wanted to press charges against Sterling following the attack. The defender rejected the offer, however, and made peace with his England team-mate.
Sterling said he had straightened things out with Gomez after apologising to him, admitting he had let emotions run high.
‘We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.
‘Both Joe and I have had words, figured things out and moved on.
‘Me and Joe are good, we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing. It’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.’
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