Sterling: I'll play anywhere

Raheem Sterling says he is happy to play anywhere as the ‘Wayne Rooney question’ continues to dog England.

Last Updated: 24/06/14 at 18:41 Post Comment

Raheem Sterling: England man happy to play anywhere for the team

Raheem Sterling: England man happy to play anywhere for the team

Sterling played in a central attacking position in the 2-1 defeat to Italy in the World Cup Group D opener and was generally acknowledged as the best England player on the night.

Rooney was deployed down the left, and although he set up Daniel Sturridge for England’s goal, many feel his best position would just behind the striker.

Boss Roy Hodgson therefore has a difficult selection decision ahead of Thursday’s crunch clash with Uruguay in Sao Paulo.

Sterling says he would be more than happy to move to accommodate Rooney, who has not tried to hide his irritation with the media for focusing on his performance and the debate over where - or indeed if - he should play.

"I would be happy to play anywhere the manager puts me," Sterling said. "I am a team player. I will be working for the team regardless of which position I play in.

"I don't think the team was built around me necessarily. I just think the manager thought that was the right position for me at the time, with my pressing and my closing down."

Sterling grew up in the shadow of Wembley Stadium and he admits he has been dreaming about playing for England since he was a little boy.

He now has a tattoo of a boy wearing 10 playing under the famous arch and Sterling says it symbolises the childhood dream he is now experiencing in real life.

"I grew up five minutes from the stadium," Sterling said. "I used to ride my bike round this little car park that was by the stadium.

"I used to say to myself 'one day, I'd like to play there, hopefully I could do that' and I am really grateful to be given that opportunity.

"I know there have been some great players who have played for this country so for me to be selected in the national team was a great achievement for me."

Sterling was happy with his performance at the Arena Amazonia and now he wants to put on another dazzling show in Sao Paulo on Thursday.

"It was a big occasion for me - my first competitive start, so I tried to think of it as just another game and give it my best shot," he said.

"It wasn't enough at the end of the day but the team did some really impressive stuff and we will go out on Thursday ready to go again."

Italy, as usual, were tough to break down, with Daniele De Rossi and Andrea Pirlo patrolling in front of a grizzled back four.

Uruguay, on the other hand, have a defence that contains Diego Lugano, who has just been released by West Brom.

"We have been looking at them, trying to find ways in which we can really hurt them and I think the manager has been preparing really well for this game," Sterling said.

Suarez has declared himself fit following a knee injury, but Sterling was hoping his Liverpool team-mate would not feature.

"I'd rather not see him on the pitch, really," Sterling said with a smile. "He is a great player, we all know that. But we can't be too focused on just him. We've got to realise they've got other world-class players as well, like Cavani.

"We've really got to think about their positives and negatives, not just Luis."

@Triangler, I agree. Rooney dcentre and Sterling wide is a better fit, collectively. It makes more sense, seeing as one started out as a winger anyway and the other started out as a forward, it makes sense to play them in those positions, rather than farm your forward wide, and your winger inside. At the very least there should be some rotation, some fluidity. And I wouldn't have Welbeck in there either, from a footballing perspective, but he doesn't half cover a lot of ground, and I think that's why Roy likes him.
- HarryBoulton

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

World Cup: Argentina fined by FIFA for displaying controversial banner

FIFA have handed the Argentine FA a fine of just under £20,000 after their players displayed a controversial banner.

Luis Suarez's biting ban to be fast-tracked by Court of Arbitration for Sport

The Court of Arbitration for Sport may rule on Luis Suarez's appeal over his biting ban before the start of the season.

Transfer News: Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina keen to end career in Spain

Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina expects to stay at Anfield but hopes to end his playing career back in his native Spain.

Mail Box

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property