Top tier football rivalries have stayed strong even before the birth of the Premier League in 1992.

Almost thirty years have passed and there has been a shift in power, with Manchester City becoming a dominant force in the last few years.

Liverpool have almost always been a force to reckon with as their current squad are the Champions of Europe.

Despite recent successes, Reds have always been criticised for not winning the league title. However, they seem to be strong contenders as they haven’t lost a single game so far.

Many rivals were hoping City would deliver their first defeat but Liverpool still remain undefeated, winning 3-1 at Anfield on Sunday.

Sunday’s fixture had a little bit of an effect on Raheem Sterling, one of England’s best players who seems to be scapegoated by the media all the time.

A scuffle between the Man City winger and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez at St George’s Park earlier this week cost Sterling a spot against Montenegro on Thursday.

A statement released by the FA confirmed that the 24-year-old will not be considered for the European qualifier. However, Sterling still remains in the England squad.

“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday,” England manager Gareth Southgate said.

“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.

“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”

Reports say that the incident occurred at the England Camp’s canteen, after Gomez provoked Sterling.

A fight broke between the two for a few seconds before other England players intervened. Since then, both players have apologised to each other and put behind any problems.

On Tuesday, Sterling posted a message on Instagram confirming that there was nothing going on with him and Joe Gomez and both have moved on.

“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

“This is why we play this sport because of our love for it – me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a five to 10 second thing…it’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.”

Even though club rivalries can be healthy in the sense of improving a player individually, this current England set up needs to be careful in not repeating the same situation as the Golden Generation of the 2000s.

With the calibre of players England had back then, they should have succeeded on the world stage.

Sterling is an amazing player and England supporters all over the country will hope he gets silverware with the national team one day.

England face Montenegro at Wembley Stadium on Thursday night, 7.45pm.

Source of Image: Wikimedia Commons

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