In case you hadn't heard, Roy Hodgson is quite adept at understanding the fitness things, and his knowledge of how to handle training regimes transcends space, time, and all concepts of logical thought. He's not too concerned with how Daniel Sturridge would like to train, and in the wake of Raheem Sterling saying that 600-plus minutes in three weeks' time is kind of a lot for anyone let alone a 19-year-old who's already burned out gloriously once in the infancy of his career, we've learned that modern training regimes are mostly just rubbish anyway.
At Malmo they used to push barrels full of ice water up a hill and then race them back down, with the loser having to drink the contents before eating a full sleeve of Saltine crackers in less than twenty seconds, and he'll be damned if a teenager requests a little bit of time off before setting up the winner against the world's 81st-ranked team without the press knowing about it. In fairness to Hodgson, Brendan Rodgers is largely to blame for most of those minutes Sterling accumulated. In fairness to Rodgers, Hodgson's skull is filled with oatmeal. Plain, pasty oatmeal.
As for people who actually know things about things, Liverpool first-team coach Mike Marsh, has been around long enough to know better, and he's plenty comfortable with how the club have handled not only the fitness of Sterling, but the squad as a whole:
"Our fitness programmes have been well documented. We try to recover the players as best we can to prepare for the game. We have a couple of days' recovery after the game and we work with the group of players for the next game. We do quite a lot of analysis with the players so we break them up into smaller groups and feed back in different ways."
Things get really fun when professional trainer and even more professional Twitter personality Raymond Verheijen got in on the action, originally from Twitter but borrowed for continuity from the Telegraph:
"Another shocking example of why English managers are becoming extinct is England national team manager Roy Hodgson. According to Hodgson, there is no evidence that certain players [Sterling/Sturridge] need longer recovery time compared to other players. England manager Roy Hodgson once again made himself look extremely stupid. He is the perfect example of a typical uneducated English coach. [It] must be frustrating for educated managers like Brendan Rodgers who travelled the world."
The meaning is in there somewhere if only he'd stop being so passive-aggressive.
Now there's just a brief break in November to fear; England play Slovenia on November 15th before they break until March of 2015, which means that there's at least one more spell of hand-wringing ahead of the new year for four or five of Liverpool's first-team regulars. We'd hold out for Roy Hodgson to handle their fitness with more aplomb than we're accustomed to, but maybe we'll just hope he handles the discussion of their fitness without causing another international footballing crisis.