James Maddison gambling with England career after pulling out of squad and being spotted inside Leicester casino – The Sun

JAMES MADDISON is gambling with his England career.

For boss Gareth Southgate to learn he was spotted at a Leicester casino — when he had claimed to be ill — will be a huge disappointment.

It looks rude and disrespectful.

The FA maintain it was their decision to send Maddison home just hours before the squad flew to the Czech Republic.

Even so, you would expect a lad of 22 still waiting to make his England debut to keep his head down and watch the game at home. Most would, wouldn’t they?

Instead he made a miraculous recovery, raising himself from his sickbed to visit the poker table incognito.

Too bad he was spotted on a night when his international team-mates could have secured qualification for Euro 2020.

You make your own decisions in life, but what is someone as young as this doing at a gambling table anyway?

It is a sad reflection of a bored, modern day footballer with nothing better to do. That too is a worry.

If he had been fit to travel, there is every chance he would have made his debut during the 2-1 defeat in Prague.

Instead Maddison was not even watching the game.

Southgate is known to have major reservations privately about Maddison. Now we know why. England’s head coach did not like what he heard about his lifestyle off the pitch.

He was flashy, showy and as cocky as they come, but even Southgate could not deny his exceptional talent with the ball at his feet.

The boss, a stickler for discipline and dedication, also heard some bad reports from the Under-21 tournament over the summer.

Maddison’s attitude, along with others, had been poor during their shocking showing under Aidy Boothroyd.

The Leicester man was identified as one of the ring-leaders in post-tournament briefings with Southgate.

Despite that poor summer, he started the season in sparkling form with Leicester.

A belting 85th-minute winner against Tottenham and his equaliser at Liverpool before the international break underlined his star qualities.

Southgate picked him for the September qualifiers against Bulgaria and Kosovo, but he did not get a minute on the pitch.

He was spewing when he walked away from the 5-3 victory over Kosovo at Southampton and later admitted he was furious to be kept waiting.

In fact it was a test by Southgate, an examination of Maddison’s mentality.

His form carried him into this squad, undeniably one of the best players in the country after Leicester’s compelling start.

Maddison went on to speak with childlike enthusiasm about the possibility of winning a first cap for his country.

Many believe he has earned it, his form in recent weeks elevating his status in the game.

But he has a problem now. There are issues to address here and both club and country should make it known help is at hand — if necessary.

There are too many stories swirling around about Maddison’s character.

And it would be a shame if he is already caught up in the sport’s bright lights.

As a young man he is entitled to milk the moment, to enjoy the spotlight and enjoy the game’s trappings. It has already given him more than most and he is seen as
one of the sport’s most valuable commodities.

He is tipped for a move to Manchester United at the end of the season but they will not want another wayward footballer on their books.

They have had enough of those in recent times.

Maddison will report back to work this week, back in the Leicester fold as they prepare for their home game with Burnley on Saturday.

Before that the England team face Bulgaria in Sofia tomorrow evening as they look to
bounce back from the surprise manner of their 2-1 defeat in Prague.

Maddison can make his own choices in life but it would look a lot better if he sat down somewhere to watch it.

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