Gareth Southgate has been forced to discipline five of his players in the span of two months
England midfielder Jordan Henderson has defended his younger team-mates after several of them have found themselves in trouble recently over violating coronavirus regulations.
Last month, Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home from the squad after breaking coronavirus protocols in Iceland, amid allegations they invited girls back to their hotel room.
This month, Jadon Sancho, Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell were left out of the England squad for Thursday’s 3-0 victory over Wales after it emerged they had attended a party last Saturday.
Though he’s seen several of his team-mates run afoul of virus restrictions, Henderson has said the problem is not only limited to footballers.
“We know when you play for England there’s a big responsibility and that any little thing you do will come under scrutiny,” the Liverpool captain said.
“But during Covid, it’s not just footballers who have made mistakes. I know we’ll get targeted and that everybody has got to try to do their best. But it’s new for us all and over the past few months one or two players may have made some bad decisions.
“But I think that goes for the people in this country in general. You look at politicians, you look at businessmen. They have made mistakes as well.
“We’ve all got to try to do the best we possibly can going forward to try to minimise the virus spreading and try to help to save lives as much as possible. But it’s not just in football.”
England manager Gareth Southgate has been forced to apply punishments to his young stars and Henderson has said that although the coach is normally mild-mannered, he can become a disciplinarian when needed.
“Gareth is a nice guy and may not raise his voice that often, but when he does shout you know it’s because something really isn’t right,” Henderson added.
“He isn’t afraid to make tough decisions – as we’ve seen – and as players we all think he has handled everything really well.
“Gareth has handled certain situations in terms of discipline very well. Everyone backs him in what he has said, but at the same time I am a senior player and I have also got to support my team-mates and help them as much as possible.
“It’s my responsibility to help the younger lads and help them take good decisions in the future.”