The Rio Report

Could this misdemeanour cost Ross Barkley an England starting spot?

The Rio Report

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Ross Barkley running from the England hotel (Reuters)

The clamour for Ross Barkley to start England’s first game at the World Cup against Italy on Saturday has grown with each commanding performance in the World Cup warm-up matches.

However, the Everton midfielder may have made a fatal error that could cost him his spot in the first team.

And, ironically, it is not an on-pitch error that could cost him his place.

The youngster was 15 minutes late for the bus to training this morning, and his tardiness caused quite a stir with the streets gridlocked with impatient and frustrated drivers.

Originally, the bus left without him but then stopped a little further down the road bringing a road in Rio to a standstill.

Tut, tut Ross...we really hope for your sake you had a good excuse to tell Uncle Roy.

England staff scrambled to sort things out in the hotel as traffic backed up for miles with angry locals beeping their horns, while pedestrians surrounded the bus in confusion.

Many minutes later, a flustered Barkley sprinted out of the hotel and onto the bus while locals made fun of him.

Good job he didn't pull a hamstring sprinting for the bus as team-mates, including captain Steven Gerrard laughed hysterically at the Everton man.

"What kind of player oversleeps for their first training session," one local was reported to have shouted as the traffic was finally eased.

It's the last thing that Hodgson would have wanted blowing up just days before England's opening game against Italy.

The England boss has repeatedly outlined his 'happy camp' principles and is known to be a stickler for time-keeping and good manners.

Barkley will have to hope that his lateness will be overlooked and laughed off as it eventually was by many bewildered onlookers.

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