Calvert-Lewin issues timely reminder of what it means to play for England

Dominic Calvert-Lewin provided a timely reminder of what it means to wear the England shirt.

An emotional phone call to his parents, his mum broke down in tears and the Everton striker said it was a “dream come true.”

“If you play football as a kid, you dream of playing for your country. I’m no different,” said Calvert-Lewin. “I’m a very, very proud man to get this first England call.

“It’s something we’ve spoken about since I was a young boy. To get here now and get the call-up is a dream come true. I’m very happy.”

That is what it should mean to play for your country, the pinnacle of any footballer’s career and in stark contrast to what happened last month with Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood.

They were sent home from Iceland in disgrace after breaking strict lockdown and quarantine rules after meeting up with girls in the England team hotel.

England boss Gareth Southgate laid down the law to Manchester City midfielder Foden and Manchester United forward Greenwood with a stern warning about discipline and the importance of “sending a message” to every player.

Of course they will be back in the future, they are two of the best young players in Europe let alone England and yet Southgate clearly feels it is important to remind everyone about standards, pride and rules.

Southgate admitted he has not spoken to either player since sending them packing from Iceland when he pretty much told them they would not be picked this time and that they would have to regain his trust after such a stupid betrayal.

“In terms of talking to the boys there was nothing to add really,” said Southgate.

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“I had a chat with both of them before we left Iceland to go to Denmark and explained how difficult the next few days was going to be for them so tried to offer some support there.

“But also I was pretty clear then that it was going to be impossible to pick them for October.

"So at the moment there's nothing to add to that but I'll definitely speak to them before the next camp because we were never going to consider them for this one.

“In terms of the broader message I just think that the last few years we’ve re- connected really well with the public, No 1, and we've got to make sure we protect that and No 2, there are standards of working as a team and your culture as a team.

“I think always you have to work at culture. It never is embedded forever, its constantly evolving, the team group is constantly evolving as players come and go.

"So you have always got to keep affecting that, keep addressing that and we will discuss the shirt, what it means to wear the shirt.

“There will be some reminders on how we work but that’s not a case of reading the riot act.

"We addressed some of that last time round but obviously when something like what has happened has happened we have to revisit that.”

Southgate of course has recalled Harry Maguire to his squad despite the Manchester United captain being found guilty of assault in a Greek court.

Maguire is determined to clear his name and Southgate clearly believes in his defender.

His relationship with Maguire is clearly built on trust and Southgate insists he remains an example and a leader within the squad despite his own off-the-field issues.

Southgate added: “He is part of our leadership group and we felt that was a good development opportunity for him in terms of him being our senior central defender for the last couple of years and we see him as being part of the team moving forward.”

Southgate has given new call-ups to Arsenal ’s Bukayo Saka, Calvert-Lewin and also Leicester winger Harvey Barnes.

Southgate added: “Bukayo has real high potential good quality, everybody that has worked with him tells me a real intelligent, level-headed boy. Barnes is a different sort of wide player, very direct, very impressive counter-attacking.

"This is a chance for us to get to know them a bit better.”

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