England boss Roy Hodgson’s tense relationship with Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers looks set to continue in the wake of the controversy surrounding Raheem Sterling’s fitness.
Roy Hodgson has risked inflaming his simmering feud with Brendan Rodgers by questioning the Liverpool manager’s method of keeping Raheem Sterling fit. Rodgers revealed last month that he believes in giving players, whose primary attribute is pace, a two-day recovery period from the stresses and strains caused by the speed. However, Hodgson says there is little evidence that this program benefits the recovery of an individual.
“Raheem might say it is something that is becoming ingrained in him and that he felt the need to talk about being tired more than he would normally do.” Hodgson said. “We have never had any problems with that [Liverpool’s policy] but I don’t think there is a lot of medical evidence to support the two-day recovery so, if you want to, you might want to research that.”
“Certainly the Germans who everyone admires so much, they don’t do it, that is for certain. We did it from the start because we had people such as John Terry, Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard who I felt would be better off having an extra day.”
“I would expect players not to take it for granted that there will be two-day recoveries but on the other hand it could easily be like this time when we did virtually nothing in terms of what I consider to be training the day after the San Marino game and only 40 minutes, including the warm-up, the day before the Estonia game, and that was at a fairly low-level intensity.”
The England manager has already angered the Liverpool boss after Daniel Sturridge was injured on international duty last month and this difference of opinion regarding the training methods is likely to resurface next month when England take on Slovenia and Scotland.
“I think I should speak to Brendan but it really is very simple and I am sure he understands the situation.” Hodgson continued. “He [Sterling] has played a lot of games recently and it is the first year in the Champions League for Liverpool for a while, so the games have obviously been quite high-pressure games. Brendan has been talking about the pressures Raheem has been under and the fatigue that may have set in, so I am pretty sure he will be dealing with Raheem over the next month as he sees fair.”
“Our record over my two and a half years has not been too bad in terms of looking after the players. We don’t send them back injured very often, though it is going to happen from time to time, and I think that is because we do have a very good medical and fitness staff and we do try to consider these things. But I thought there was a good question: am I the only one with that responsibility? Or does it have to be shared between club and country? I think it does.”
The Reds winger is back in training today with his club where his fitness will be assessed ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Loftus Road on Sunday.