Did Roy Hodgson hamper Liverpool's derby chances?

Daniel Sturridge Liverpool

The old debate of club v country continues to rear its head now and again, and has done so this week with Daniel Sturridge playing for England.

I read an article recently which suggested that he should be proud of playing for his country and was right to play, if selected.

Now, I'll admit my own position on this. I'm not interested in international football. Like many (if not most) fans of clubs that might challenge for a top four position, I am far more concerned about how my club does, and about having players fit for key matches.

However, putting this bias aside, let's look at last week's game against Germany. It was a friendly, so was meaningless except for the honour. A friendly should be the place to try out new players or new combinations. There was no need to pick those players who the England manager knows he will be taking.

So, what happened? Sturridge was carrying an injury. There was absolutely no need to play him but what did Roy Hodgson do? Played him for the full 90 minutes just three days before the Merseyside Derby.

Why?

Before going any further, let me say that Roy Hodgson was not a popular figure among Liverpool fans before last week . Most Liverpool fans, based on their own experience, see him as a very limited manager. In fact a common response around Merseyside when he got the England job was laughter and disbelief.

There is a suspicion on Merseyside that Sturridge's selection had more to do with an attempt at saving face after the Chile game than it had to do with finding things out for the World Cup. In doing so, the England manager was prepared to risk a player who may have been able to start the Goodison Park game but for that.

Liverpool fans, like many pundits, were left wondering at the selection, and can't help but reflect that the outcome of the Derby might well have been three points for their club.

image: © kuaver

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