Gareth Southgate told Jude Bellingham ban could be a ‘blessing’ for England

Jude Bellingham has received criticism for his England performances

Jude Bellingham has received criticism for his England performances

It would be a ‘blessing in disguise’ for Jude Bellingham to receive a ban for his crude gesture during England’s win over Slovakia, a pundit has stunningly claimed.

The Real Madrid superstar’s heroic overhead kick goal in the dying seconds of the Euro 2024 Round of 16 clash saved the Three Lions from an embarrassing exit.

However, Bellingham was investigated by UEFA after he was caught on video grabbing his genitals while celebrating his goal, leading to speculation that he could face a ban.

Reports suggest though that the midfielder is set to be fined a ‘five-figure sum’ but will not receive a ban for England’s quarter-final against Switzerland on Saturday.

Bellingham posted on that the gesture was an ‘inside joke towards some close friends who were at the game’ and has ‘nothing but respect for how that Slovakia team played.’

The former Dortmund and Birmingham City star is England’s joint-top scorer with Harry Kane with two goals so far, but it’s fair to say his performances haven’t been at the level expected of him so far.

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Bellingham suspension would be ‘lucky’ for England

Former Liverpool player Dietmar Hamann, who has been critical of Bellingham in the past, thinks a potential ban for Bellingham could be a positive thing for England and their under-fire boss Gareth Southgate.

“Gareth Southgate should have made the decision earlier to take out Bellingham or Phil Foden,” Hamann said in a recent interview, as cited by Football365.

 

“Now he may be forced to be lucky if Bellingham is suspended. If he has to sit out, that might even be a blessing. That might even help the team. Something has to happen.”

England may have topped their group and made it into the quarter-finals but everyone knows they’ll have to play better against the top sides, and the upcoming clash against the Swiss will be the biggest test yet.

Hamann believes that dropping Bellingham could be the shake-up England need to improve, adding that his behaviour now, and in the past, has been out of order.

“I don’t like his behaviour,” Hamann added. “There was his statement two and a half years ago in Dortmund about referee Felix Zwayer, where he got away with a fine, but in my opinion, should have been banned.”

Bellingham criticised  Zwayer in December 2021 after Dortmund lost 3-2 to Bayern Munich. He said: “You give a referee who has postponed games before the biggest game in Germany. What do you expect?”

Bellingham has been ‘missing for months’

Hamann also made reference to Bellingham shouting ‘who else?’ to fans in the stadium following his sensational goal. The former Liverpool man suggests it brings into question whether or not the 21-year-old is a team player.

“Without your colleagues you are nothing – and if he then stands up and says that, then I would be interested to hear what his teammates say. Apart from his goals, he was not seen in the first four games.

“I would wait and see where he is in 2 or 3 years. We don’t need to talk about the fact that he is a talented player, but some things have happened that you shouldn’t do.”

In fact, Hamann claimed earlier this week that Bellingham has actually been ‘missing for months.’

“When you look at other players, Bellingham, for example. He is a huge talent, but the fact of the matter is that since the Champions League quarter-final, he hasn’t performed. He hasn’t been seen in the Champions League when it really matters,” Hamann said.

“Maybe it shouldn’t come as such a surprise that Bellingham isn’t performing that well at this tournament. Bellingham wasn’t the reason that Real Madrid won the Champions League. He played his part in the early rounds, but they won it because of Lunin, because of Vini Junior, and because of Toni Kroos.

“Sometimes the English tend to hype their players up, which is fair enough, but it doesn’t always match the reality.

“Bellingham is starting to believe his own fairy tales, he needs to be careful: I think there is definitely a danger that Jude Bellingham is starting to believe his own fairy tales.

“There was his celebration and then when he walked past the Slovakia bench, he did something that offended them. He said afterwards that it was a private joke aimed at his friends who were sitting near them. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I think he’s got to be careful because in the first game, he ran into Kostić after he won the tackle, and he was lucky not to get booked for that.

“He’s got to leave them things out because there’s always someone bigger than you and the other players will watch his antics. I think he’s got to be very careful because the one thing you shouldn’t do is disrespect your opponents. Against Slovakia, he made his excuses, but it wouldn’t have been the first time that something has happened with him. Somebody has to tell him it’s needless and he should cut it out.”

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