Gareth Southgate said he was 'shocked' by Joe Gomez's knee injury, fearing the Liverpool defender could face a long layoff after failing to practice in England on Wednesday.
The English Football Association confirmed in a statement that the 23-year-old would return to Merseyside to “undergo further diagnosis on the issue with the Liverpool medical team” after suffering what the player fears is a serious setback during the England team's last session before Thursday. international friendly against the Republic of Ireland.
“I can't tell you how bad it is because he hasn't got any scans yet,” Southgate said.
“What was overwhelming was seeing him in a little pain. The point was that there was no one around when the injury occurred. I didn't like this element.
“We just have to wait and see what the scans show. We all hope for him that it is not what it could be. This is not a good situation. I don't see him being involved in the games with us, that's for sure. .
“We cannot speculate on the exact nature of the injury. This is not possible until we have seen the scans. My immediate thoughts are with him as he has had injury issues in the past.
“We hope as much as we can and pray that it won't be long term, but we'll just have to see.”
Southgate lamented the lack of collective thinking ahead of revisions to the 2020-2021 football schedule in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Despite the end of the Premier League at the end of July and the UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions until August, no game has been lost and the matches are instead condensed into a shorter period for realign the game in time for the delayed Euro 2020 next summer. finals.
And Southgate said: “Joe [is] a good example. We know the load he's had over the past six weeks, so we gave him and the guys who had been in European matches an extra day of recovery. And yet, something like this happened. There is a lot of talk about additional subs and things like that.
“But the big picture is that the governing bodies, the broader authorities, have to work together. We have a Winter World Cup in two years. There was an opportunity this year to think differently. The pandemic has raised all kinds of difficulties. But everyone tried to cram the program into a shorter time frame and no one gave in and people didn't collaborate enough.
“We're going to see injuries and it's a desperately sad situation because when you see the impact on an individual it hits home even more. We are now trying to affect things too late. A lot of these discussions could have taken place in the We could have delayed the start of the league, we could have delayed international football. We could have adjusted the entire schedule and all worked together. And the people didn't. “
England's preparation for the game against Ireland was overshadowed by the resignation of FA President Greg Clarke following comments he made during a Digital Department select committee hearing, culture, media and sports.
The 63-year-old referred to stereotypical “footballers of color”, South Asians and Afro-Caribbean people as having “different career interests” and described homosexuality as a “lifestyle choice” during a hearing to examine why the game collectively failed. agree on a financial bailout for the lower leagues.
And Southgate has revealed that he chose to speak to his team in light of Clarke's comments while also seeking to uphold the FA's reputation in relation to its modernization efforts.
“I felt it was necessary. I had spoken to them the day before about the diversity code and the work in progress. Obviously, Tyrone [Mings] was involved in the work behind the scenes. Just like Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane, “Southgate said” And, so we had spoken positively about it the day before and then I felt there was a need to explain that what happened yesterday was not acceptable. and did not represent what we defend because as a team and is not a faithful reflection of the FA. People have a vision of AF and those of you that I know have a little more insight into the over 800 people who work at AF, across that spectrum there are people from many national backgrounds, from different sexuality, members of the lesbian and gay community. It's as diverse and organizational as I've ever been.
“As he said himself, the terminology he used in a number of areas was not acceptable and does not reflect the point of view of the FA, does not reflect what we stand for as that team.
“I don't think he had any choice but to make the decision he made to quit. I have to warn him a bit. I think [with] Greg, what's a shame for him in particular is that he's done a lot of work behind the scenes to support the diversity code, to make a lot of forays into relationships across the board. Europe.
“I have to say that there are often a lot of names put forward and it is easy in the background to have opinions on things without having any responsibility.
“What I admire about someone like [current FA Inclusion Advisory Board chairman] Paul Elliott is that he got involved in the administration of football. There's a lot of hours of it; there's a lot of meetings that a lot of people don't want to go to.
“So the reforms that Paul helped put in place over the past few years or rather the past few months deserve a lot of praise.
“I don't know if Paul is the right person for the lead role. It's not a decision for me. But I'm just emphasizing the kind of challenges football administrators need to have and the kind of qualities they need to have. “