herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

Roy was right to bench Sterling

ROY Hodgson reclaimed some lost ground on his authority as England boss when he gave Raheem Sterling a tracksuit and told him to sit on the bench for the game against Estonia.

But then he gave some away when he entered into this ridiculous debate about whether Wayne Rooney was going to be substituted or not.

Let's deal with Sterling first and his ever vocal manager Brendan Rodgers. The player told his international boss he was tired and didn't want to train so Hodgson did what any manager would do and took him out of his plans as a starter.

I'm baffled by this tiredness thing. If we played a midweek game when I was at Leeds, it meant we didn't have to train. Competitive miles in the legs are always better than training once you have your fitness.

Don Revie didn't want to hear about tiredness and he said it to us after every European game or midweek fixture. Tired meant you dug deeper and kept going.

Rodgers seems to think that Liverpool is more important than England and that he should be allowed dictate his players' training patterns while they are away on international duty. I'm glad Hodgson called his bluff on Sterling and we will see how the story unfolds.

But Hodgson then ruined a good week for him by engaging with the nonsense surrounding Rooney. It wouldn't be the first time a manager decided to take a player off and he scored.

It's football. It's not even an issue. The manager makes the substitutions, nobody else.

I'm pretty sure he was about to take Rooney off but he caught a break and won the game. He should have left it at that.

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