Liverpool have been handed a significant blow in their quest for a top-four finish, as Daniel Sturridge will be on the sidelines for the next six to eight weeks with injury.
The striker was missed in the Anfield outfit’s defeat to Hull on Sunday, and his absence puts added pressure on Luis Suarez as the Merseyside club’s sole attacking threat.
Brendan Rodgers and the Liverpool fans have every right to be annoyed with England, and specifically Roy Hodgson.
The Three Lions boss has admitted to pushing Sturridge to play in a recent international friendly against Germany, which could well have had an impact on the attacker becoming injured.
“Dan has pulled out of a few matches with us for injury reasons. The first game he played for me against the Republic of Ireland he got injured. It was important for me to, if you like, test his resolve a little bit,” Hodgson has said.
“I might have been guilty of putting that resolve to the test but I don’t apologise for it.
“And I am delighted he did get out there, even though he maybe didn’t feel 100 per cent, because that means in future I will know I can trust him as an England player. He is not going to be playing when he feels like it, he is going to be playing when he’s fit to play.
“I’d rather the players got injured now. We only played him because medical opinion told us. He had scans and there was nothing on them. I believe the injury that kept him out this last weekend was nothing to do with the initial injury he was complaining about after playing for Liverpool.
“We wanted him out there and I think he wanted to play as well so it was important.
“Daniel has burst on to the scene. We think he will be an interesting player but I don’t have that many months to sort that out,” he concluded.
Liverpool are obviously frustrated to have lost one of the key players in the build-up to a busy festive season, and Hodgson’s lack of tact in his comments will surely act as a source of annoyance for the Merseysiders.
The amount of international friendlies is already a source of contention with the clubs, and Hodgson’s blasé approach to Sturridge’s injury is only going to ostracise the national manager from his equivalents at club level.
image: © kuaver