Roy Hodgson Takes Aim at Brendan Rodgers Over Liverpool Stars' Fitness

England manage Roy Hodgson's relationship with Brendan Rodgers was again put in the spotlight after he claimed Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling asked to be excluded from the England team for Sunday's 1-0 win in Estonia because he felt tired.

Updated: October 14, 2014 12:50 IST
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Roy Hodgson
File photo of England coach Roy Hodgson.


London: England manager Roy Hodgson has risked inflaming his already simmering feud with Brendan Rodgers by criticising the Liverpool manager's method of keeping Raheem Sterling fit.

Hodgson's relationship with Rodgers was again put in the spotlight after he claimed Liverpool midfielder Raheem Sterling asked to be excluded from the England team for Sunday's 1-0 win in Estonia because he felt tired.

Shortly after revealing the details of the conversation with Sterling, Hodgson told Rodgers he must do his bit to ensure the 19-year-old does not suffer from further physical and mental fatigue.

The 67-year-old then went a step further by criticising one of the methods Rodgers uses to try to ensure his quickest players, presumably including Sterling, recover properly from matches.

Rodgers revealed last month that he is a strong believer in giving his "fast" players two-days to recover from matches due to the stresses and strains their speed causes on their bodies.

Rodgers spoke of his frustration at Hodgson's refusal to adopt the two-day recovery method for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge last month after he pulled a thigh muscle during a sprint at an England training session.

And it is understood Rodgers also gives Sterling two days off after games as he thinks it aids the pacy player's return to peak fitness.

But Hodgson says there is little evidence the programme benefits players' recovery times.

"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.

"But we have never had any problems with that. 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 one.

"Certainly, the Germans who you admire so much -- they don't do it. That is for certain.

"I would expect players not to take it for granted that there will be two-day recoveries."

Twitter blast

In the early hours of Monday morning Sterling responded on Twitter to those who had ridiculed him for asking to be rested just eight weeks into the season.

"Now listening too.. Excuse me for being human??," the 19-year-old wrote after retweeting two critical messages posted to him on the micro-blogging website.

It is understood that England's medical staff will be contacting their counterparts at Liverpool this week to talk about Sterling's fitness.

And Hodgson himself will call Rodgers to discuss the matter.

"I think I should speak to Brendan, but it really is very simple and I am sure he understands that situation," Hodgson said.

"Raheem 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, and I will tell him he looked a bit tired and I made the decision from that to play Adam Lallana.

"But Brendan has been talking anyway about the pressures Raheem has been under and the fatigue that may have set in a little bit so I am pretty sure that he will be dealing over the next month with Raheem as he sees fair."

Meanwhile, England captain Wayne Rooney has revealed he will celebrate racking up a century of caps by walking out at Wembley next month with his two children.

Rooney will soon be bracketed alongside the likes of Bobby Moore, David Beckham and Bobby Charlton, with his 100th cap set to arrive in next month's European Championship qualifier against Slovenia.

"It will be great. It's a great honour to get 100 caps for England," Rooney said.

"I did not think it was possible when I first got into the team.

"Obviously my two boys will walk onto the pitch with me, but that will be it I think."

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