Jamie Redknapp: Brendan Rodgers made a mistake against Aston Villa

Jamie Redknapp says that Brendan Rodgers made a mistake in Liverpool’s Premier League clash against Aston Villa last weekend.

Jamie Redknapp says that Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers made a mistake last weekend when he didn't utilise Raheem Sterling from the start against Aston Villa.

Sterling was left on the bench against the Villans at Anfield, as the Reds went down 1-0 in the Premier League game.

He wrote in his column on the Sky Sports website: "Luis Suarez, and with Daniel Sturridge out injured, the decision to leave out Raheem Sterling and give Adam Lallana and Lazar Markovic their Anfield debuts backfired and Liverpool didn’t flow against Villa.

"As a result, nerves were there for the Ludogorets game in midweek and they struggled to get a win over a team they should have been capable of blowing away...

"Chelsea had a similar experience against Schalke, when Diego Costa was left out. Without him it was like watching Chelsea of last season; these big players take your team to another level and Sterling and Sturridge do that at Liverpool."

Despite Redknapp's comments, Rodgers's nurturing of Sterling from academy prospect to international star has been a joy to watch.

The Reds boss has to take a huge amount of credit for making Sterling become the player that he is today, and he clearly felt his side would have enough to get by without him against Villa last weekend. 

The danger for Rodgers will be burning Sterling out too early in the season. For all his talent, he is still only 19 years old and coping with the demands of playing in the top level of English and European football is no easy challenge. 

Even so, Sterling will almost certainly be back in the Liverpool line-up this weekend and will be determined to continue enhancing his reputation as one of the most exciting English prospects for a long time. 

The Reds take on West Ham United tomorrow, as they look to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Aston Villa in the Premier League. 

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