In Depth

Hodgson questions Liverpool training as Sterling feud grows

England manager does not agree with 'two-day' rule which was also the cause of Sturridge row

Raheem Sterling

The fall-out from Raheem Sterling's omission from the England team on Sunday continues after national boss Roy Hodgson appeared to take issue with the training methods of Sterling's club manager, Brendan Rodgers.

The pair have history this season after Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge picked up a thigh injury with England in September, and has not played since.

Rodgers says he gives his "fast" players, including Sturridge and Sterling, two days off full training after a game, but Hodgson has made it clear he does not have the time or inclination to follow suit.

"I don't think there is a lot of medical evidence to support the 'two-day recovery'," said Hodgson as the debate rumbled on. "Certainly, the Germans, who you [the media] admire so much, 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," he added, while also insisting that the squad had done "virtually nothing" in the way of training after the San Marino game.

"The debate threatens to widen the difference of opinion — and philosophy — between Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, who likes to give certain players, particularly Daniel Sturridge, two days of light training after each match to ease the recovery process," explains Oliver Kay in The Times.

Hodgson, on the other hand, even suggested Sterling's fatigue may have been brought on partly because the idea of a two-day rest was "becoming ingrained in him".

The two men obviously have their differences, says Kay, but that is not the only problem. "[Rodgers] might well question Hodgson's decision to go public over Sterling's tiredness, exposing the 19-year-old to a level of scrutiny and criticism that he probably does not deserve."

Indeed, Hodgson has "risked losing the trust of his young England stars", warns Matt Law in the Daily Telegraph. Sterling has been vilified on social media since the story broke, "a consequence that Hodgson is unlikely to have considered" when he told ITV the reasons behind the player's omission from the team against Estonia.

"Hodgson has made a point of pulling aside members of his squad, particularly the younger players, for private conversations during England get-togethers. But Sterling, 19, and some of his international colleagues may now be reluctant to open up to Hodgson for fear of their conversations being exposed," warns the Telegraph.

"Sterling has been caught at the centre of a growing debate between Hodgson and Brendan Rodgers, the Liverpool manager, into which other players do not want to be drawn."

Hodgson's position is unlikely to go down well in the red half of Liverpool. "His disastrous Anfield reign is thankfully an increasingly distant memory but his public utterances and archaic methods are still causing Liverpool problems," says the Liverpool Echo. Hodgson has "hung Sterling out to dry and Liverpool are left to lift his chin off the floor".

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