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Roy Hodgson Won't Let Brendan Rodgers "Dictate" His England Selections

Roy Hodgson isn't too happy with Brendan Rodgers' attempts to keep his players healthy while away from the club on international duty.

"What was my line again? Oh right, the angsty bit. Gotcha."
"What was my line again? Oh right, the angsty bit. Gotcha."
Christopher Lee

Apparently, a club manager wanting an international manager to take better care of the players he's borrowing is a "dangerous" concept. Or at least that's what Roy Hodgson would have you think of Brendan Rodgers' recent concerns as to how things are done with the England national team.

"I do not expect managers to tell me whether players should be selected, no more than I would dream of telling them who to pick." Those were Hodgson's words when asked about Rodgers' concerns over his squad selections and training methods, after Rodgers had expressed hope that Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling would be left home. Sturridge was deemed too unfit to be called up, but Sterling was summoned to the England team despite being in dire need of a rest.

"I need my best players," Hodgson said in response to a recent public request from Rodgers that Raheem be rested for this international period. "[Sterling] has played quite a lot but there must be six or seven who have played as many minutes." Of course, that completely lacks any cognizance to the fact that younger players don't handle that heavy a workload as well as more experienced ones do, nor does it show that he's remotely aware of how exhausted Sterling has looked the last three matches.

Rodgers has also expressed qualms over England's training methods in recent months, especially as they pertain to Sturridge. Liverpool's manager has learned to handle his striker with a little delicacy in training, giving him extra time off and not pushing things too hard in order to prevent potential injuries. Not so with Hodgson, who goes full steam ahead with all players at all times using training techniques that were state-of-the-art 30 years ago, but are rather out of date now.

Hodgson seemed particularly upset with Rodgers over those issues, especially over a claim that Sturridge shouldn't even have been practicing when he was, after a request to keep his training schedule in line with what he does at Liverpool. "He never asked [to be given 48 hours rest after a match]. I’ve never been asked to give 48 hours to any player. If I am under pressure to give each player two days off between games we won’t train at all. If every time we give two days off, we will be down to 20 days’ training in the course of the next year and a half. For me that is unacceptable. We need to work with the players."

While Hodgson does have a fair point as to further limiting an already-limited ability to train his national team, he does need to be more cognizant of the needs of his individual players. Sturridge is a talented player, but he's also always been a bad step from six weeks or more on the training table. Given that he's been hurt several times on England duty, maybe it's time for Hodgson to re-evaluate how he handles the player?


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