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Gareth Southgate was right to lay down marker over Raheem Sterling | Barney Ronay

An England manager has nothing but mystique and soft power. If they don’t use it they become irrelevant

Happy thousandth everyone. Another month, another England landmark. Welcome to the 1,000th overblown mini-drama to enliven an otherwise deathly international break.

Congratulations are due on all sides. First to Raheem Sterling for instigating a significant but far from terminal training-ground bust-up. Second to the Premier League, the world’s greatest sporting soap opera, for granting us this spin-off episode and finally to the FA for “announcing” the incident on a slow Monday evening, electrifying the buildup to an inevitable 2-0 [Kane 2 (1 pen)] home win against Montenegro.

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