I personally cannot wait for the return of Premier League football this weekend, so everyone can finally stop talking about this ‘Raheem Sterling debate.’
It seems every ex-footballer under the sun has had their say, from Ryan Giggs to Robbie Savage.
It’s my belief that the international breaks are in fact so dull, that anyone will jump on the smallest thing in order to stir a bit of controversy and debate, with ex-players, pundits and press seemingly losing their minds for a fortnight in the absence of Premier League action, hardly helped by Roy Hodgson and his ridiculous ramblings.
And unfortunately Liverpool have been the victims of this on the last two occasions.
Am I the only one who thinks it’s gone beyond the point of ridiculous? Especially when Michael Owen of all people decides to have his say.
“We’re surmising how he was feeling but I never felt like telling the manager I was tired because I never felt particularly that I needed a rest,” Owen said with no hint of sarcasm.
“I know people will say, ‘Well, we don’t want anyone having burnout’. But I’ll ask you now – can you name one player who has ever been burned out?
“I don’t know of anyone.”
Erm… You perhaps Michael?
Whilst Owen will insist his injury plagued career was caused by hereditary muscle injuries, the fact he was injured at the age of 19 having played non-stop football from almost two years – the entire 1997-98 season, 1998 World Cup and the 1998-99 season up until March – must surely have played a part in his demise.
Whether Sterling asked to be rested, or simply told Roy Hodgson he was tired – at the end of the day, who actually cares?
Why it has become such a massive deal is clearly down to another case of verbal diarrhea from Hodgson, who seems to be using every international break to create problems for his former club.
Sterling’s case should never have been brought into the public eye, whilst the use of the word ‘complained’ has seen the 19-year-old indeed ‘hung out to dry’ as described by Brendan Rodgers.
Let us not forget England were playing away to Estonia. The fact Hodgson had to come out and say Sterling had complained of feeling tired does not say much for him or the squad he has at his disposal.
England should have had more than enough to get past some European minnows without the 19-year-old – despite the fact they needed him to come off the bench and earn the decisive free kick.
The whole saga has gone past the point of ridiculous, and Michael Owen is the latest to follow in Hodgson’s footsteps of making himself look foolish.
Because a player of Sterling’s talent and vulnerability at such a young age should be looked after and treasured, with Owen being the prime example of how terribly wrong a career can go if treated otherwise.
Now can we all stop talking about it and focus on Queens Park Rangers on Sunday?
I’ve got a fiver on Raheem getting the winner…