Loathe as we are to listen to anything Roy Hogdson has to say, the simple fact that Liverpool provides numerous players to England's national team dictates that once in a while we have to do just that. The extremely thin silver lining of it all is that call-ups for Liverpool players means those players are impressing at club level, and thus are deemed to have the quality to represent their country. Hooray for our brave lads!
Daniel Sturridge is one such player whose stock has risen significantly since moving to Merseyside. Though he has just nine caps for the Three Lions, four have come during Roy Hogdson's tenure, the ex-Liverpool manager sees him having a major role in England's fortunes for years to come.
"When I say I am hoping he is going to bring his form to England it's with a view to the future," Hodgson explained. "He should be looking to 50 caps and when he gets his 50, look at 100 caps because he has got the talent to play. I don't think anyone would deny the talent is there.
"He's hardly played for England. Since he's gone to Liverpool, he's done very, very well, but quite often when we've had matches we've been unlucky he's not been available through injury. In my 25 games, Daniel hasn't featured anywhere near as often as I would like. Now, I'm hoping, in the next 25, he's going to feature a lot because he's a great talent."
Hodgson speaks as if he himself has no role in the injuries that have prevented Sturridge from earning additional caps. Playing an unfit Sturridge for 90mins in a meaningless friendly against Germany in November put the striker out of commission until mid-January, so it feels mildly farcical to be complaining about his lack of availability. It's not quite at the level of better-injured-now-than-later, but it definitely has shades of what Trev calls the "smug egotism" that marks Hodgson's approach.
Sturridge, for his part, has certainly earned a starting spot on Hodgson's squad when fit. With various members of England's greatest alleged footballing generation slowly shuffling of the international stage, there's room for new players to take up the mantle and become England's next great hope.
That only eight Englishmen have ever earned 100 caps for their country shouldn't necessarily put Sturridge off, but England will need to go deeper in major tournaments if the striker is to get the extra games he needs to make up for being a late bloomer for his country. With Sturridge's participation, the likelihood of this may just increase.