Why Roy Hodgson needs to reconsider his approach with Daniel Sturridge

Roy Hodgson

This isn't the first time that he has been involved in a spat with his old club Liverpool.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge seems to be at the centre of a club v country row after he returned from international duty at the start of last month injured. 

The Reds have missed the qualities of their star striker to so far this season. After he put in an impressive performance in the 3-0 win over Tottenham at White Hart Lane, he returned from playing for England with a thigh problem that has not amused manager Brendan Rodgers.

Rodgers suggested his forward needed an extra day of recovery and was not afforded that on international duty, and Hodgson's reply has been typical of the man who spent an ill-fated six months at Anfield before being sacked in January 2011 - when he left the Reds nervously looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone, rather than up towards the top end of the table.

Hodgson is quoted in the Daily Telegraph, saying: “No manager has as yet said to me that players must not train two days after a game. But I understand that with Daniel it is an important player to send back injured. I understand Brendan being unhappy about that.

“I made it very clear to all the players at the start of the week that we’d done quite a lot of two-day recoveries during our time in Brazil and we realised we were just killing ourselves in terms of the training time we have available. If every time we give two days off pre-match or post-match, we will be down to 20 days’ training before Euro 2016. For me that is unacceptable as we need to work with the players.”

It's another quote that Liverpool fans will be familiar with, it's out of the same book where Hodgson tells the world just how many years of experience he has of management and that his methods have served him well - despite a lack of major honours outside of Scandinavia.

There in lies the problem, it's a case of Hodgson knows best with Roy. The England boss has also claimed that Sturridge never refused to train. If that is the case then the forward should be applauded for his work ethic for his national side, but in the interest of relations between both the club and country - there should have been a member of the England staff ensuring that Sturridge got the required rest.

As a result of what happened when England faced Norway, and the aftermath in training, both club and country have suffered - and there is a part of what Hodgson said that seems to wilfully neglect the advances in sport science and football over the years. 

In addition, there seemed to be some kind of veiled threat to Liverpool, where he said: "Let's see if he plays this weekend. If he does, that will be a matter of discussion."

It's also an example that he is prepared to take a gamble on a player's fitness and not really select them on form. Given what has happened in the past, it is of little surprise either way that Liverpool won't want Sturridge to play in these internationals.

Last season he played 90 minutes of a friendly so Hodgson could 'test his resolve' and it wasn't until three months later he could start games again. The discussion that needs to be had between Liverpool and England - not about whether he plays for his club on Saturday, who have suffered more because of something that has happened when he was England's responsibility - but how they can manage him effectively so both sides benefit.

One only needs to look at how Chelsea have managed Diego Costa so far this season. He has missed training sessions so he can be fit for games, and is one the main reasons why they are setting the pace in the Premier League. Training isn't everything, and some players need to be managed more effectively.

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