Gareth Southgate has tried to introduce a more relaxed atmosphere in the England camp – and that has been thrown back in his face.
Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood being sent home in disgrace is bound to raise serious questions about whether the rules are strict enough.
It was back in 2010 when former England boss Fabio Capello pushed for a code of conduct to be introduced and it was finally brought in October 2012.
The rules were set against a backdrop of damaging cases against John Terry and Ashley Cole and a six page dossier set put rules on behaviour, social media and responsibility.
But Southgate, who took over four years ago, wanted to do away with the rules and regulations, and pushed for it to be scrapped.
The England boss wants to treat players as adults and encourage them to do more interviews, be open and hope that would both empower them but also take away the fear of pulling on the shirt.
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Southgate was even asked about the code of conduct after the news – and insists he still wants to deal with each case individually rather than have draconian rules.
“I don’t believe it’s necessary because if any breach happens then we will deal with it anyway. I don’t think having a code of conduct would actually act as any more of a deterrent than dealing with each case on its individual merits,” said Southgate.
“I think everything that has happened in our period of time has been dealt with firmly and I think that’s the right way to do it because if you start to have a code of conduct you can get stuck a corner on things which have lots of grey areas.”
Now Southgate may be thinking again – because maybe the players do need rules if they behave like this.
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