Leeds United defender Stephen Warnock has defended Raheem Sterling’s decision not to start for England against Estonia on Sunday.
The Liverpool winger asked England manager Roy Hodgson not to include him in the starting line-up against their hosts for the Euro 2016 Group E qualifier.
The 19-year-old was named on the Three Lions’ substitutes’ bench for the game at the A. Le Coq Arena in Tallinn. Sterling did eventually come on in the second half and helped England to a 1-0 victory to maintain their winning record in the qualifying campaign, but the youngster has been strongly criticised by many.
Leeds left-back Warnock, who has played for England twice in his career, believes that Sterling made the right decision in asking Hodgson not to start him against Estonia
‘I think it is different for him because he has come off the back of a World Cup’, he told Sky Sports. ‘I think he has done the right thing in actually saying that he is tired because it can affect Liverpool and England in the long term. I think he has probably done the right thing’.
Sterling is one of the best players in the England, and it is indeed important to keep him fresh and ensure that he is not burnt out.
However, one has to ask why England boss Hodgson made it public that Sterling had asked to be rested. It would have been wiser not to divulge that in public.