Hung out to dry: Hodgson claims Raheem Sterling complained of feeling tired

England manager Roy Hodgson told media ahead of England’s game against Estonia on Sunday evening that Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling had complained of feeling tired, hence he was not included in the starting 11.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Monday, August 25, 2014: Liverpool's Raheem Sterling looks dejected after missing a chance against Manchester City during the Premier League match at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Yesterday we trained but Raheem was complaining a little about being tired and was not at his best. So we won’t risk him and Lallana is in fine form,” Hodgson told ITV before the game.

Speaking on ITV immediately after, former England and Arsenal forward Ian Wright appeared sceptical that Sterling would complain of being tired, saying he had never known of a player telling a manager he felt tired.

It was an incredible claim from Hodgson, whether true or not, to hang out the player in such a public manner.

Of course, it’s extremely naive to believe Hodgson’s words as gospel. But that didn’t stop England fans from taking to social media to criticise Sterling:

These people would be better off not believing Hodgson. This is, after all, a manager who previously decided to play Daniel Sturridge while injured to “test his resolve”.

Thankfully, there are some journalists who can see through the England manager’s words:

Incredibly, Hodgson had stated just 24 hours earlier that “It’s a question about man-management” regarding Sterling not being over used by club and country. Now he’s hung him out to dry with publicly claiming he had told he was tired.

It’s staggering that the England manager made such a statement. Rather than just state that it was his decision, as manager, to not start Sterling, instead he has deflected the blame onto the player. A typical cowardly Hodgson manoeuvre.

Adam Lallana replaced Sterling in the starting 11 for England.