Once again, an international break scheduled just after a strong Liverpool performance ends with key players being sidelined. The Reds will be without the services of Daniel Sturridge, Emre Can and Joe Allen against Aston Villa tomorrow, unfortunate timing with all 3 starting the season in good form.
Losing key players always hurts, but it especially stings when injuries are preventable. In his press conference yesterday, Brendan Rodgers mentioned the fact that Emre Can rolled his ankle while Gernamy were 6-0 up, and Joe Allen hurt his knee on a poor-quality pitch in his Welsh international. While indicating an understandable level of frustration with both injuries, especally with Can potentially missing 6 weeks, Rodgers acknowledged that these types of injuries can happen in the game.
The Sturridge injury however, drew clear ire from the Liverpool manager. When at Liverpool, Sturridge is generally given two days to recover after a match, and here he pulled up with a thigh injury while doing sprints on the second day; a day he would have been rested if under Rodgers.
It's unfortunately not hard to imagine England's player treatment plans not having the same thought and planning behind Liverpool's innovative programme. However, with England benefitting from Liverpool's use of Dr. Steve Peters for mental health, it is unfortunate that Roy Hodgson and the FA did not make an effort to accommodate club individual training plans for physical health of the players. Ideally going forward, the FA and teams like Liverpool maintain a higher level of contact on player treatment and recovery programmes; towards keeping key players like Sturridge available for selection both for club and country.
Brendan Rodgers standing up for players, and not just his players - he mentioned Danny Welbeck as another player who could benefit from personalised recovery plans - is in the best interest of clubs, players and even the national team. Here is to hoping his advice is heeded by the English FA as well as other national teams.