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

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

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

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

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

Gareth Bale says Real Madrid are eyeing a six-trophy campaign this season

Gareth Bale says Real Madrid are targeting an even bigger trophy haul this season.

Manchester United beat LA Galaxy 7-0 as Louis van Gaal era opens in style

Wayne Rooney, Reece James and Ashley Young all scored twice as Manchester United beat LA Galaxy 7-0 in Pasadena.

Premier League: Gylfi Sigurdsson delighted with move to Swansea from Tottenham

Gylfi Sigurdsson has told Sky Sports he is delighted to have joined former club Swansea from Tottenham.

Mail Box

Defending Woodward With Perspective

One Mailer is telling us to hold fire on our Woodward criticism, whilst we also have some wonderful PFA Team of The year geekery, a well done to Vieira and much more...

Why The Obsession Over The Captaincy?

Asks the morning mailbox, before hastily returning to the debate over who should replace Steven Gerrard. Plus, thoughts on Ed Woodward's spending plans and more...

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