Jordan Henderson has found himself on the receiving end of fierce criticism after his behaviour towards Montenegro players during England’s Euro 2020 qualifying match.
Former Manchester City player Stefan Savić has hit out at the Liverpool midfielder, saying that he sarcastically offered his shirt to a Montenegro player after the match.
“We all know they are a much bigger team than us, but sometimes I feel very bad to be playing the same sport as some players,” he said (via the Daily Mirror).
“Jordan Henderson, for example, sarcastically told our player after one normal clash he would give him a jersey after the match.
“It is ugly and disrespectful. I told him he was good enough not to act like that.
“We are proud and I’d rather play with this team and concede five goals and not with some arrogant players from England.”
The Three Lions thrashed Montenegro 5-1 in their second Euro qualifier.
Ross Barkley scored a brace for Gareth Southgate’s men, while Michael Keane, Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling all added their names to the scoresheet.
The match wasn’t without its controversies, namely for how the England players were targeted with racial abuse from the stands.
Sterling, who scored a hat-trick in England’s opening Euro 2020 qualifying match against the Czech Republic, mocked fans who were chanting racist abuse towards him with his celebration.
While Savić has been critical of Henderson’s actions against Montenegro, the England boss praised the 28-year-old for reaching his 50th England cap and said that he was “underappreciated.”
“Firstly, only 59 players have achieved it, so it’s a relatively small club and a great honour,” Southgate said.
“That requires huge commitment to play for England, first and foremost.
“And then, on a personal level, Jordan’s qualities as a player — which I think have been underappreciated at times — he’s such an important player for us and has been for the last couple of managers.
“Everybody values the fact that he has a winning mentality. Good players make other players play well.
“It’s not just about your own performance, but the impact and effect you have on others. When you’re a leader like he is, that is among his top qualities.”
The Three Lions have moved to the top of Group A with their back-to-back wins and are four points clear of second-placed Bulgaria.