Ryan Giggs sympathy for Raheem Sterling
Ryan Giggs has sympathised with Raheem Sterling after the Liverpool winger sparked controversy by telling manager Roy Hodgson he was too tired to play for England.
The 19-year-old was left on the bench for the start of the European Qualifier against Estonia in Tallinn, which England won 1-0.
Manchester United assistant manager Giggs made his debut for the Reds at the age of 17 and carried on playing until calling time last May at the age of 40.
"It’s tough when you’re a young player," Giggs told Sky Sports News HQ. "He’s an explosive player, he’s a player who is exciting, a player you would pay and go and watch.
“Unfortunately, he’s at Liverpool who are our biggest rivals,” added Giggs, who was collecting a 'legend of football award' while guest of honour at the HMV Football Extravaganza in London.
“But he’s a talented player and you have got to be careful when you’re a young player, it’s a short career and you have to look towards the future.
“Speaking from my own experience, I wanted to train every day, I wanted to play every day and I’m sure he’s no different.”
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce, speaking at the same event, also believes care should be taken with young players to avoid the risk of burn out.
“The biggest thing a manager has to cope with is when someone as talented as Raheem Sterling comes along is the criticism you get when you do rest him and the criticism you get when you do leave him out," said Allardyce.
“But protection of the asset is very, very important and particularly for Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool. Today’s world of football is so quick, it demands so much, physically and mentally.
“If a young man is still developing, and when I say developing I don’t mean his talent but his muscular development; his body is still growing, his muscles are still growing, his bones are still growing, and if you over tax that and he gets the type of injuries early on in his career, it could be detrimental and shorten his career.”
However, former England captain Alan Shearer says tiredness was never a factor during his eight-year stint with the national team.
"I was amazed that it came out in the first place and I was very surprised that Roy had said it," said the former Newcastle striker who scored 30 goals in 63 games between 1992-2000.
"I was also very surprised that the player himself said it. I have never heard it, never said it and I don't think I would have done it and don't know any players in my time who would have come out and said it.
"To play for England at any level, in any game, you would grab the opportunity with both hands."
Former England international Dean Ashton had his say on Sky Sports News HQ and believes the furore could have been avoided.
"I wouldn't say that our young players are playing too much football but it's on an individual basis," Ashton told the Morning View.
"Clubs nowadays have so many staff members and players are bombarded with information about fitness, recovery, nutrition.
"I think Sterling's naive to have described himself as being tired - I wouldn't have used that word - but I think Hodgson's naive as well if he thought that this wouldn't be a big deal. It's probably made it awkward (between the two) that Hodgson admitted Sterling had said he was tired; he probably should have had a quiet word with him away from the cameras."