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More on Sterling
I thought I’d add my views on what often proves to be a rather divisive topic: How good is Raheem Sterling, and how good can he be?
I think the first thing to note is that when you ask the question ‘how good,’ it immediately becomes relative. We use other players as the scale on which we rate him. Now, twenty years ago, this would have been done largely on a domestic basis. Today, however, Messi, Suarez, Ronaldo and Neymar provide the benchmark for comparison. Are we perhaps guilty of judging Sterling too harshly for not reaching those standards? I think the answer is probably ‘yes.’ It’s actually very rare for any player, never mind one of twenty years of age, to reach a consistently outstanding level of performance.
How else do we judge players? Stats, of course. We need to analyse the stats! I won’t open the stats vs ‘what my eyes tell me’ debate once again, but shall we suffice to say that in many people’s eyes, goals and assists are king. Can we also agree that they don’t tell the full story?
What else? Ah yes, transfer fee. The edict that if a player costs £44m, then he must perform out of his skin every week. Okay, I’m being facetious, but you get the point. We are all aware of the horribly inflated market for English players, and that in a more sensible time, Sterling’s value isn’t even close to that figure. Ultimately, a player is worth what someone is willing to pay for him.
So how should he be judged? I think, in the context of young players around Europe. A quick look around leading European national teams would suggest that of players around his age (I’m going up to 22), he could be in similar company to the likes of Draxler, Pogba, Gotze and Depay. The ultimate question, and bear in mind he’s giving some of these guys a couple of years, is: Is it silly to include Sterling in such company? I’d suggest not. That’s not to say he’s as good as all of those players, but he’s not a million miles away, or it’s not unreasonable to suggest he could be in a couple of years.
How good can he be? It really is a case of ‘time will tell.’ He could be the second coming of Shaun Wright-Phillips, or he could turn out to be a world beater (or indeed, somewhere in between). What I find interesting is that he is one of very few English players that has played regular, top level football between the ages of 18 and 21 in recent years, and how that will pan out. I’d question if he’s much better now than he was a couple of years ago, and whether that’s an indicator for a player who has much improvement left in him. I’m not convinced of his end product, nor his decision making, and he possibly has an over-reliance on his athleticism; he exhibits a notable drop in performance when he isn’t fully fit. However, he should be given time to overcome all of those things. F365 goes to great lengths to remind us that he’s only twenty, and he’s achieved so much more than most people of his age in football. We should probably listen.
Stoky-Boy (MUFC so should really hate the poor kid, Ex Lpool now Citeh player) has tripped over himself with his own argument regarding Sterling in this mornings mailbox. He claims that Sterling is never convincing but then goes on to say that his burst of pace and ball control is incredible.. you’ve gone from not being convinced to be incredibly convinced by his skills by the sound of it.
The poor lad can’t do anything right.
Sturridge > everyone
Rob Bristol Gooner wouldn’t start Sturridge for England if he was fully fit.
That’s a bit of a shocker. Comfortably England’s best striker and goalscorer.
He’d be the first name on the team sheet for me.
Gough, LFC, Dublin (He won’t be fit though)
Adding insults to the injured
We slayed a downed warrior on Tuesday night, but we looked great when doing it!
I really enjoyed watching a young exciting England team, with young promising players who just seem to be happy to be playing for England. After reading the fantastic world cup ladder, it makes me fear for England and this crop of youngsters. Why should Leighton Baines come back? Gibbs plays for Arsenal, Bertrand has been immense for Southampton. Ali and Dier deserve their call up and to keep their palaces if they continue this way. Why should Wilshere come back into the squad? How can we justify playing Phil Jones over anyone? Why should Milner and Lallana walk back in?
I will never wish injury on a fellow human but come on, what am I to do? Any help?
M4RCU5X15, CFC (I would rather see Smalling and Stones at CB than Cahill)
England are alright
Dan, Ireland MUFC (A little respect please, we are all there on merit)
Sorry, the phrase minnows was used very much tongue in cheek, I do actually live in Northern Ireland and am very excited by the prospect of multiple home nation sides being at the Euros, for one it makes far more games interesting, the hope is they all avoid each other and get favourable draws, with some 3rd place teams getting through a single win could be enough to get through and I can’t see 4 points not being enough. Based on what I’ve seen of qualifying (which is an awful lot) once you get past the top 7 teams (Pot 1 and Italy) there is a reasonable drop off and all the other sides in the competition should really fancy their chances of getting to the quarter finals.
But to answer a couple of your comments,
Why would you prefer in England side that has proved during this qualification campaign that they will take care of business against sides they are better than, I didn’t factor the France result into any of my thinking. In pot 1 there is Germany, Spain, France, England, Belgium and Portugal. England are either the 3rd or probably 4th best side in there. Belgium and Portugal are worse, which is why they are better to draw. Wales took 4 points off Belgium during qualification and haven’t beaten England since the 80’s, so surely would rather play a side they have proven themselves to be at least capable of beating. As for the world rankings they a currently ranked below Romania, all world rankings show is how wrong fifa’s formula is.
Portugal have Ronaldo, that is pretty much it, IF you can keep him quiet you can get a result. Portugal lost at home to Albania, needed an injury time winner to win 1-0 in Albania and only scraped by Armenia 3-2. They can be beaten and like all ‘foreigns’ struggle with some of the more physical sides. Now without being condescending (and having watched a fair amount of both Northern Ireland and Ireland) this qualifying that is certainly something that both sides can play to.
The reality is that the sides in pot 1 are all really quite good, but England are not the worst side in it and from the point of view of looking at an opponent you can match up well against I think that all three home nations in pot 4 have sides they should be looking to play against before England.
Finally, a small comment on England if I may, this could be the most balanced England side we’ve seen for a long time, we no longer have Stevie G strolling around the middle of the park in the number 4 shirt, playing Hollywood balls, missing tackles, playing great through balls for opposition strikers and then shooting on sight trying to make up for all of the above. (if Roy can resist the temptation of a only slightly injured Wilshire) we could have real balance in the midfield, a really solid defence, good overlapping full backs (being adequately covered by a proper holding midfielder) and some real pace across the forward line. Anything less than quarter finals is unacceptable, Semi-finals should be the aim and (draw dependent) maybe lose in the final to Spain/Germany.
Also really looking forward to the pundits attempting to work out the permutations of results as we near the end of the group stage, it will be carnage.
Colin, (can hear the 2016 reboot of three lions already)
Actual Liverpool optimism
I have a lot of confidence going to the Man City game. As Minty LFC pointed out City have quality in abundance. City though, for me, are prone to go missing in big games. Liverpool have beaten them several times since their big money take over and even Spurs got one over on them this year. However, I do not think this is the time for Firmino up top on his own. Not with a fit Benteke and a quasi-fit Sturridge potentially making the bench.
Shutting down Sterling, who is in fact a great player, will be a big task for Liverpool. It will be Clyne’s job and I have a lot of confidence in his defensive ability against Sterling who continues to struggle with his end product, that wonderful assist for England aside.
It will be a tight one but I think Liverpool will nic it 2-1.
Brian (Lovren with the man of the match performance) LFC
Robertson, Keegan and Scotland
Magnificent piece on John Robertson. Bravo F365. I have to say that whilst the YourSay Boards plumb ever lower depths the output from this site scales even higher heights each week!
Two things stood out. One being Keegan’s ‘fro! He looks every bit the honorary Scouser. Brilliant. And two being why haven’t Scotchland done better on the international stage? They’re widely mocked for never haven gotten out of the group stage but questions should be asked about why a country that has produced wonderfully talented (and hard as nails) footballers have not made a mark on the international stage. They’re second-to-none when it comes to gaffers too. Some of their teams could and should really have gone places…
And I’ve always thought their kits were pretty decent too…
It’s a headscratcher!
Gregory Whitehead, LFC
F**k off is Gary Cahill 29
After the shock of googling Gary Cahill and realising he was 29, I was curious if anyone else has the problem of players cementing themselves as a certain age in your mind? Since Cahill came into the England squad as sort of John Terry’s long term replacement, he became ‘around 25ish’ in my mind from that point on. Obviously center backs tend to have a longer shelf life, but still. I’m sure I can’t be alone in this so are there any in particular that stand out to you? It shocked me the first time I realised Rooney was pushing 30, but his career progression since then has made it easier to process.
An open question to the mailbox and Johnny Nic, the two PFM experts. I was reading the excellent article about Linsey Hipgrave and I started wondering, ‘Can a woman/girl/lass ever be a true PFM?’
I ask this vital question not just from the point of view of terminology ( PFM vs PFW ) but also in terms of whether the public would ever consider women PROPER football people?
I mean they should should’nt they? Terminology aside.
There I was happy to see the end of the non football (penis mishap )stories in mediawatch and feeling relatively safe only to read through the faamous ladder reach number 6 and see a phrase I never wanted to contemplate let alone have an image of…… Gee thanks Football365 your getting the bill for my theraphy session
TIMI MUFC (Get it out Get it out…… )