Questions asked over Rodgers’ decision to give only Sterling time off.
Brendan Rodgers has been criticised by former Liverpool midfielder Roy Houghton over his decision to give Raheem Sterling a winter break.
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Sterling was the only member of the squad to be given time off and travelled to Jamaica for a short holiday following the Reds’ 2-2 draw at Anfield with Leicester City on New Year’s Day.
The pacy winger missed the 2-1 win over AFC Wimbledon in the FA Cup third round and will remain absent for their Premier League trip to Sunderland.
Rodgers is adamant the rest period is essential for a player of Sterling’s young age and key to his overall developed, however Houghton says the break will offer no benefit to player or club.
“Liverpool won the league one year with 14 players. They played 42 games with 14 players,” said Houghton to TalkSport.
“I know there is sports science involved now and you try to look after the players the best you can, because it is about longevity, but the likes of Phil Neal, Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness, who played that season, had long careers. They didn’t have a break.
“I just don’t get it. Personally, I think players want to play rather than to be left out of the side.”
Sterling courted controversy earlier in the season when it was revealed he had requested Roy Hodgson keep him out of the England squad because he was too tired, and this latest controversy will do no favours the the 20 year old’s reputation.
“For the last six, seven weeks, Sterling has been the shining light for Liverpool, he has been absolutely brilliant, and I think he is a huge loss when he is out. He is a game-changer and personally, as a Liverpool fan, I would love to see him in the team,” Houghton continued.