Two managers, two very different ways managing Raheem Sterling

Brendan Rodgers seems keen to keep the pressure off Raheem Sterling after this week, whilst Roy Hodgson fixed the spotlight firmly on him.

The dispute over Raheem Sterling takes another twist it seems as Brendan Rodgers gave an interview to The Independent saying the 19-year-old has been hung out to dry. 

The way that Sterling has been man-managed is contrasting but it will inevitably cause a divide of some kind. Rodgers states there hasn't been a club-versus-country row, but the Liverpool manager's latest comments will do nothing to dampen such a narrative in the mass media. 

Let's look at the contrasting comments between the two managers, Rodgers in the Independent said: “At no point did Raheem Sterling say he didn’t want to play for England. The boy is being hung out to dry and I dare say the criticism will continue for a few more weeks to come because of this.

“Last season he said he felt tired before the Manchester City game. We won 3-2 and he put in a man-of-the-match performance.

“The point I’m making is you have to take on board advice from your own people and make your own decision, right or wrong."

If nothing else, Rodgers has attempted to take some of the heat off Sterling ahead of a big week for the youngster and for the club. The Liverpool boss knows the talents and capabilities the teenager has, and wants to create an environment for him to thrive instead of the spotlight being firmly fixed upon him.

Roy Hodgson put that spotlight there by disclosing what Sterling had said. He has had to deal with criticism on social media as a result along with several other ludicrous comparisons - whether that is being compared to different players to himself or otherwise.

It does make you question what Hodgson thought he was going to achieve by making it public. At 19 Sterling needs protection, and already in his short England career, he has proved his worth to the national side, both now and shown the potentially huge importance he has for them in the future. 

Instead of talking about England's performances following the game, all the attention was on Sterling. England's performance wasn't so convincing and it gave the perfect distraction for it not being called into question.

Rodgers has clearly tried to deflect attention away from the youngster in order for him to get on with playing his football with as little distraction as possible - but the worry for Liverpool is if their manager gets too embroiled in this row.

It will be interesting to see how Sterling himself reacts in the week ahead. If he performs well, it will probably die down from Liverpool's side of things, but there is the risk, either way, of some more finger pointing to come in the future.

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