England boss Gareth Southgate has fired a warning to James Maddison following leaked pictures of the Leicester City playmaker playing poker in a casino
The 22-year-old withdrew himself from the national team on Thursday due to illness – less than 24 hours before England’s shock 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group A.
But, while his international teammates were fighting tooth and nail to maintain their 100 percent record in Euro 2020 qualifiers on Friday night, the highly-rated midfielder was caught playing poker.
While such behavior can be put down to Maddison’s youthful exuberance, Southgate has been quick to assure him and other England internationals that he is keeping his eyes on them 24/7.
“I don’t want to discuss individuals, but I know pretty much everything about all my players. I watch every minute of their football,” he said in the build-up to England’s trip to Bulgaria.
“I speak to their club managers, the coaches of the junior teams.
“We never know absolutely everything, but we have a very clear picture. That’s the due diligence you have to do.”
It is still uncertain whether Maddison had apologized to him, but 49-year-old has confirmed the player has reached out to him after the incident.
“He sent a message to say the story was going to be in the paper,” he said, as reported by the Daily Express.
🗣 Martin Allen: “It would have been better to recover in his own home.”— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) October 13, 2019
😡 @Chris_Iwelumo: “He’s done nothing wrong! He’s got every right to relax.”
Martin and Chris on James Maddison being in a casino after reporting ill. 🤧
Who do you agree with? pic.twitter.com/nqTc9LURHj
“My focus has to be with the players here in Sofia – getting the reaction that we want and everybody in the right place for the game.”
Although it is highly unlikely that his career as an England international is at stake after what happened on Thursday night, Maddison will probably have to sit down and listen to what Southgate has prepared for him after Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Sofia.
“I’m sure he recognizes now that when you are with England, there’s a different sort of spotlight on you and your private life.
“Young players probably aren’t as aware of that. That goes with the territory. It’s a high-profile position.
“I don’t like losing money so the casino is not the place for me. We’ve focused on getting a response. Everything else is back to the office at the end of the week,” the former defender concluded.