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First Signs Of Strain Show Between English Team And Their Media

First Signs Of Strain Show Between English Team And Their Media
By Gavin Cooney

Gareth Southgate was hailed for "playing a blinder" ahead of England's World Cup opener with Tunisia, as the afterglow of a notionally happy squad and not-quite-as-adversarial-and-vituperative-media was directed his way. Southgate and the squad have been very open with the media, allowing access to all players at a Superbowl-style open day at St George's Park ahead of the World Cup. They have also been eager to make themselves available for interview: such was the deluge of players willing to speak to the BBC after the game, the Beeb barely had any time to do some analysis.

Today, however, the first signs of trouble in paradise reared its head. A snoopy photographer and his enormous, telescopic lens leaked England's putative team for the Panama game. A close-up shot of assistant coach Steve Holland's notepad revealed that England planned to drop Raheem Sterling for their second group game, also letting slip that Dele Alli is in doubt for the game owing to injury.

At a press conference today, Southgate rebuked the media for seeking out the team and publishing it ahead of the game.

Kyle Walker backed his manager:

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We predict things might get more tetchy as the tournament progresses.

See Also: The Argentine Media Reaction To Last Night's World Cup Shambles

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