England No 2 Steve Holland is seen for the first time since news of his alleged bust-up with Ben White, ahead of his early World Cup exit, broke… with defender still yet to return to Arsenal training
- Ben White’s exit from England’s World Cup squad was due to a reported bust-up
- Steve Holland said to have reprimanded the player over lack of preparedness
- Arsenal player’s exit from the squad was reported to have been mutually agreed
- He had not featured in any of England’s three group games before flying home
- Alleged to have struggled in the camp and did not gel with team-mates, it is said
- Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results
Steve Holland has been spotted for the first time since news of his alleged bust up with defender Ben White emerged.
White, 25, returned to the UK last week for what was said to be personal reasons – with the Football Association having remained tight-lipped on the exact reasoning ever since.
However, reports emerged earlier this week alleging the reason was a bust up between the Arsenal man and Holland.
Steve Holland has been pictured for the first time since news of the alleged bust up was published
The Daily Star alleged that Holland was unimpressed by White’s lack of preparedness in a pre-USA team meeting, with the former Leeds and Brighton man reportedly lacking knowledge of his own personal stats.
It was also reported that he showed a poor knowledge of England’s opponents, whom they drew 0-0 with in their second group game. His fiancee, Milly Adams, attended the game with the US.
White was also said to have been uncomfortable at England’s base and struggled to gel with his team-mates. The decision for him to be released home was mutually agreed, it was reported.
Holland was deep in conversation with Southgate as England’s players were put through their paces in Qatar
‘We ask that the player’s privacy is respected at this moment in time,’ the FA statement said.
His club then tweeted: ‘We’re all with you, Ben.’ Several Arsenal players have since posted messages of support to the 25-year-old on social media.
White has also not travelled on the Gunners’ mid-World Cup warm-weather training camp in Dubai.
The defender had started all 14 Premier League games before the World Cup break, helping his side to the top of the table and earning him a call-up to Southgate’s 26-man squad for Qatar.
Holland is said to have reprimanded White in front of the England squad for his lack of preparedness
He did not feature in any of England’s three group games, having not been selected for the first two and then missed out against Wales through illness.
Just a day out from their quarter-final clash with France on Saturday, Holland was pictured next to head coach Gareth Southgate as they put the team through their final paces.
England head into the clash with France the competition’s top scorers so far and having only conceded twice, in their opening game with Iran.
However, Didier Deschamps’ side are the reigning world champions and in their midst they possess Kylian Mbappe – perhaps the in-form player on the planet at present.
Holland, who had been number two at Chelsea as well as England’s under-21 side before undertaking the senior team’s assistant role in 2016, appeared calm and relaxed next to Southgate at their Al-Wakrah base.
England are bidding to reach consecutive World Cup semi-finals for the first time as they plot a path beyond one of the tournament’s fancied chances.
Arsenal posted this tweet in support of their player after it was announced he’d be flying home