England manager Roy Hodgson has backed his Wales counterpart Chris Coleman in the club versus country row with Arsenal over Aaron Ramsey.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger criticised Coleman for overplaying Ramsey during his country’s Euro 2016 qualifiers last month – including 90 minutes versus minnows Andorra in Cardiff after Wales had already secured their place at the finals.
Ramsey subsequently suffered a hamstring injury during Arsenal’s 2-0 Champions League win over Bayern Munich, three days after completing 90 minutes in a victory at Watford.
Coleman labelled this as a “cheap shot” and, while sympathising with Wenger’s plight, Hodgson was keen to point out that club sides have far more opportunities to rest their stars than national teams do.
“What Chris Coleman has said, he must stand by that and he had his opinion about comments Arsene made and I think he is entitled to air them and say what he thinks,” Hodgson told a news conference.
“On a general basis, I honestly do believe when players return from international duty fit, if they then get injured in a club game I don’t know if you can really put that specifically on what has gone on in an international game, especially when there is a period of time between the international game and the club game.
“I have sympathy with Arsene because to lose three players like he did, one does tend to look for every possible reason there could be.
“There is much more of an opportunity for club teams to rest players.”