World Cup Watch: Hodgson Got Liverpool’s Sterling Sent Off Like Paul Gascoigne For Spurs
WORLD Cup Watch looks at how the Daily Mail is gearing up top rubbish Roy Hodgson whose key error remains not being Harry Redkapp.
Redknapp’s ghost writer Matin Samuel looks at “impact” substitutes and, in particular, Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling:
Sterling, who knows? Hodgson rejected the chance to start him against Peru or Ecuador and was faced with a young man so desperate to make an impression in that second game that he got sent-off and missed the final match in which he was ear-marked to start.
A player under presser was so desperate to please he got himself sent off. You could argue that if Sterling loses his cool under pressure in a warm-up match, starting him in the white heat of a World Cup game against wily Italy would be folly.
The Mail’s report noted:
Sterling deserved a booking for a reckless tackle on Ecuador captain Antonio Valencia, but the Manchester United man turned a drama into a crisis by jumping up and grabbing his adversary by the throat.
That was also Samuel. But he soon added:
So what does Hodgson take from this? Does he accept some blame for Sterling’s aberration; or does he think this shows the youngster’s inexperience and unpreparedness for the biggest of stages?
Frankly, if this spells the end of of Sterling’s World Cup hopes as a starting player it will be a travesty. If he is trying to be James Milner, something is wrong.
Samuel is not focusing on Sterling’s impetuosity to show how a youth can get carried away under pressure; it’s about portraying Roy Hodgson as a dolt. He adds:
These warm-up matches have been a missed opportunity, sadly. One of two primary aims has been unfulfilled and that was Hodgson’s fault. He needed to find out about the best two youngsters in English football – Barkley and Sterling – and yet on one count remains very much in the dark.
Silly old, Roy. He’s no Redknapp. And he’s no Terry Venables.
In the 1991 FA Cup semi-final with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur manager Terry Venables was told by the club doctor that Paul Gascoigne would not last much more than 30 minutes. He had the choice of starting him, or bringing him on. Venables chose to start him. His logic was simple. ‘What if we were 3-0 down after an hour? We would never know what difference he could have made.’ He told Gascoigne to see what he could do in 30 minutes: and he won the game in ten. The myth of the impact substitute eschews another, more logical, tactic.
That would be Gazza, Spurs’ best player, who in the final was amazingly not shown the red card for a horrible foul of Nottingham Forest’s Gary Charles, the ruptured the cruciate ligaments he got as result deemed punishment enough.