Roy Hodgson has admitted his England players have been given a couple of hefty reminders they are under intense scrutiny this week.
After Ashley Cole's Twitter rant at the FA last week, on Thursday it was his Chelsea team-mate Ryan Bertrand who crossed the line. Bertrand's outburst at learning his withdrawal from the England squad to face San Marino at Wembley tomorrow had been put down to a sore throat was nowhere near the same magnitude as Cole.
Indeed, it was quickly confirmed by the FA there would be no further action, but Hodgson said: "We are human beings. We didn't descend to earth from some heavenly body and mistakes do happen. But we are aware our conduct is under scrutiny."
Hodgson added: "When we behave well, we can do a lot of good. When we behave badly...and this week, we have had a couple of big reminders."
Coming less than 48 hours after FA chairman David Bernstein confirmed a new code of conduct would be in place ahead of next month's friendly with Sweden in Gothenburg, Bertrand's use of a swear word on a social media site was a regrettable occurrence.
Although it was the FA's previous description of the illness that had prevented Bertrand from training since he was called up by Hodgson on Monday, the Chelsea man clearly felt it was an insufficient explanation of his return to the Blues squad on Thursday morning.
"Just to clarify.... Its not a "sore throat" Im ill. swollen glands in my neck... And constant headache for 3 days now and freezin cold," said Bertrand. "Do you think a "sorethroat" could stop me being apart of a match for my club or country? £yourf******nuts this is what every boy dreams of."
Bertrand was quick to issue an apology however, saying: "sorry if i offended anyone by swearing as i don't encourage that type of language. was just disappointed at the thought of people thinking i only have a sore throat.. which is not the case.."
It left Hodgson to tidy up the remains of the mess, and explain why he thinks the new code is a step forward in underlining the discipline required from his squad in future. "The FA are very keen to make certain we continue the style we had in the Euros - which was compared favourably to some of the things that happened previously," said Hodgson.
"I don't want us to think a written code of conduct is so different to some of the things we've always accepted as being part of football at the highest level. But it is important that everyone is singing off the same hymn sheet. We all know the words of the hymns. Let's make sure we don't make any mistakes with our singing."
- Ryan Bertrand
- Roy Hodgson