Raheem Sterling praised for England honesty by Roy Hodgson
Liverpool winger felt too tired to start Sunday night’s clash in Estonia
October 13th, 2014
Raheem Sterling has swiftly become the first name on the England team-sheet although Roy Hodgson had to reconsider his options after the nineteen-year-old felt too fatigued to line up from the start against Estonia.
Sterling played only 45 minutes of Friday’s match against San Marino before being replaced by Adam Lallana, although Hodgson disclosed after the 1-0 victory against the Estonians that the Liverpool player had spoken to his international manager and effectively ruled himself out of starting the game.
He said: “People don’t like it when you simplistically tell the truth. Is it common? I don’t really know. But I think it should be, especially at international level when there are so many good players trying to get their hands on the shirt.
“I don’t think you should keep hold of it when maybe you are feeling you’re not at your best. I think it would be wrong of players to try to fool me into thinking they are ready and 100% when they aren’t because they are robbing somebody else of an opportunity.”
Sterling shouldn’t have any problems reclaiming his England shirt following a struggle by the Three Lions when winning 1-0 in Tallinn, with the nineteen-year-old potentially following team orders from Brendan Rodgers by being used sparingly during the international fortnight.
“Raheem had done the warm up and he came to me and said: ‘Look I really am feeling a little tired, I am not in my best form at the moment because I am feeling a bit tired.’ Don’t forget it was two days after quite a difficult game against San Marino. It was fatigue he hadn’t managed to shake off after the San Marino game.
“I can’t argue with the reasoning and I’m sure that will be said,” he said. There was also a message to Liverpool that “it’s a bit unfair if all the expectation to give the player a break falls on my shoulders.
“In mitigation, it isn’t quite as simple as training maybe taking some juice from his legs. There is an awful lot going on in your head as well. Perhaps it’s quite simply the season hasn’t started quite as well for Liverpool as they wanted. I don’t know, it’s just a theory.
“I don’t want to say any more. I don’t want to get drawn. If you really want to research why he is tired further you’ve got to speak to him, people who work with him and his club. I’m convinced he’ll have a week now when he goes back to Liverpool, they’ll sort him out and come Sunday [when Liverpool play QPR] you’ll see him flying around.”