Gary Lineker has jumped to the defence of Liverpool's Raheem Sterling after the young winger was left on the bench for England last night, as he told Roy Hodgson he was tired.
The 19-year-old informed national manager Hodgson that he did not feel fit enough to start before England's match against Estonia, meaning that Adam Lallana was picked ahead of him.
It is a decision which has seen the Liverpool winger come under intense criticism, but Lineker believes that Sterling did the right thing and has defended him on Twitter today.
The lack of understanding to a footballer (a teenage footballer) being tired is a price players pay for the price they're paid. Nothing more— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 13, 2014
I felt tired on occasions during my career, particularly post WC seasons. Your form dips, you have a rest, you recover. No big deal.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) October 13, 2014
Sterling was the second most regularly used teenager in the Premier League behind Luke Shaw last season and has been a key performer for Liverpool so far during this campaign, too.
The fleet-footed attacker is a key man at Anfield, but it seems that the vast amount of game time had caught up with him on international duty.
Many have questioned whether it is another sign that club form means more to players than representing their country, though, with a number of Three Lions fans suggesting that it shows a lack of passion.
England won the fixture in spite of Sterling's absence, but they missed his trickery in the performance. Although he did make a substitute appearance, the side struggled past Estonia with a Wayne Rooney free-kick proving to be the difference between the two sides.
The win put England in a commanding position in the group, but it is Sterling's absence which looks set to dominate the headlines for some time yet.