Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has come under intense scrutiny for asking to be rested during England’s 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying win against Estonia in Tallinn on Sunday. The 19-year-old was left on the bench following a conversation with Coach Roy Hodgson, who praised him for being honest about his tiredness. Sterling would come on as a second-half substitute, winning the free kick that was converted by Wayne Rooney in the 73rd-minute.
The reaction to Sterling’s decision was decidedly mixed. While some pundits, like former England internationals Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker came out in Sterling’s defense, former England and Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, wrote: “Too tired! He is 19 – and it’s October. I genuinely have never heard something like that in my career … This will stick with Sterling for some time, believe me. The working man who is up at 6 a.m. and home at 8 p.m. does not want to hear how tired a 19-year-old professional footballer is.”
Meanwhile, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, questioned whether it was wise for Hodgson to reveal the details of his conversation with Sterling. “We can debate whether Raheem Sterling should say that to the manager – for me, as a player, I’d never give the manager an opportunity to leave me out,” the Sky Sports pundit said, adding: “I just think, whether he is tired or if he didn’t feel right before the game, keep that between yourselves.”