It's no secret Liverpool fans in England and around the globe let fly with curses over the weekend when it was learned Daniel Sturridge had been injured again while on international duty. It probably shouldn't come as a surprise that Brendan Rodgers was even more put out by the news, and the manager is upset as he believes the injury could have been avoided.
"The disappointment for us is Daniel Sturridge coming back injured as he had started the season very well," Rodgers said while speaking on TalkSport today. "We're obviously disappointed because we feel it was an injury which could have been prevented. He has worked so hard over pre-season and looked very fit and strong in our last game against Tottenham."
Sturridge has had something of a history of getting himself injured while on international duty, and it's hard not to think at times that it's as much what he's being asked to do by the England coaches as anything to do with the player himself. And Rodgers has now confirmed as much, placing the blame entirely on England for their mishandling of the player's fitness.
"It's the recovery strategy," he said. "When we look at our players here we look at them individually in terms of what their needs are. Fast players would have a second day of recovery while other players can work on that day. When you are that type of quick player like Daniel Sturride, Raheem Sterling, and boys like Danny Welbeck you need to [focus on] recovery."
It's unlikely to win Rodgers points with the English FA, but it would seem to make sense on the surface. Clubs are worried about managing their players over the long haul of the entire season. The international teams, by comparison, are only worried about the seven to ten days they have to work with them, and it's hardly surprising some players might end up handed too much.
With time limited, for Roy Hodgson and England the priority is doing us much work as they can with the players they get in what time they have. At times this can backfire. It most certainly has for Sturridge, and that Liverpool could again get him fit just in time for Roy Hodgson and England to break him is a disgraceful state of affairs.
England appear to be making no effort to manage the players they call up with an eye on their long-term health, and that Rodgers is frustrated enough to speak publicly is not a good sign. It suggests his concerns have been ignored by Hodgson and the English FA. Perhaps, though, going public now will finally change things; it probably wouldn't be smart to count on it.