1/05/2013 12:16:00 pm

'He has lots to learn' - LFC hero urges BR to drop 'struggling' star. Agree...?

So far, all the talk over Daniel Sturridge's signing has focused on how it will affect Luis Suarez's role in the Liverpool team, but what about Raheem Sterling? It's probable that Sturridge will play on the wing at times, and Liverpool legend Tommy Smith believes that Sterling will benefit from the etra competition.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Smith welcomed Sturridge's signing, and suggested that Sterling may need a spell on the sidelines. He argued:

"For me, the one who is likely to be most affected by Sturridge’s arrival is Raheem Sterling.

"He took his goal very coolly against Sunderland but in truth I feel he has been struggling recently and probably needs taking out of it a bit more now.

"He’s still a very young player with lots to learn and so I think the boss will look to give him a rest at times and keep the pressure off him".


I agree with this. Some fans will probably find this surprising, but Sterling has made more appearances this season than any other Liverpool player, including Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard.

It's great to see youth getting a chance, but Sterling is clearly in real danger of being over-played, and as we saw with Michael Owen, that could lead to problems later down the line.

To be brutally honest, it's not as if the team will miss Sterling all the much if he drops to bench for a while. His end product is not the greatest:

* 2 goals/2 assists in 29 games
* Only 10 shots on goal all season.
* Only 6 successful crosses in 20 league games.
* 77% passing accuracy in opposition half.

Sterling is only 18, and will probably improve over time, but for right now, despite the hype, he is not an integral part of the team's success, and resting him more would arguably be a positive move.

Additionally, the extra competition from Sturridge (and perhaps Tom Ince) could force Sterling to try and up his game (in terms of end product), and that would be a win-win situation for Liverpool.

Jaimie Kanwar





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67 Comments :

L4red said...

Completely agree with this one, i already feel he,s been overplayed but understand the circumstances that have led to this, time to use him more sparingly.

Sangertim said...

Good call. Great potential and we do not want to see him burnt out at a young age. Good news about Ince transfer figure being reduced. I think Stevie G could do with a little rest as well. Additional cover at LB / centre half should be considered ?.

Pato- said...

 Downing is more important than Sterling right now. Sterling's biggest weakness is his size and weight. He gets pushed off the ball too easy. When he gets older and beefs up he'll be a real star.

Suarez---Sturridge---Downing

JJ said...

People sometimes forget Sterling is eighteen, and that had the summer transfer window not gone awry, Sterling wouldn't have played that much anyway. If Ince arrives, he will probably have the same sort of role as Suso and Wisdom.

Soulshalize said...

give the guy a rest he defo deserves it, been one of our best players so far!

Jay said...

lmao Downing had ONE good game. Even in the last game he was still mediocre.

Standards are ridiculously low when it comes to that guy. The sooner he is gone, the better!

Jay said...

Totally agreed. Sterling has played more than I would have liked also, but if the alternative is the flipping experience of Stewart Downing, then give me the inexperienced Sterling every day of the week!

GonzoB said...

Actually have to agree. He doesnt look half as dangerous as he did at the start of the season. His willingness to take on defenders has waned and his passing accuracy has gone to pot. Time on the sidelines is a must for the wee man. A great talent though.

Mike Aitcheson said...

can't agree with that. Though I do agree that Sterling needs to be rested , for all the reasons JK mentioned.

What the stats don't show is the amount of times Sterling has attracted multiple defenders to cover for his speed and ability to beat a man. This has given the likes of Suarez more room to manoever, which has been a feature of his effectiveness. Sterling is not ready for a full season, but if we get Ince, the two could easily alternate for the time being, and one will naturally emerge as the main man. If not, then the competition will push both on. Like JK said, win win...

Mike Aitcheson said...

can't agree with that. Though I do agree that Sterling needs to be rested , for all the reasons JK mentioned.
What the stats don't show is the amount of times Sterling has attracted multiple defenders to cover for his speed and ability to beat a man. This has given the likes of Suarez more room to manoever, which has been a feature of his effectiveness. Sterling is not ready for a full season, but if we get Ince, the two could easily alternate for the time being, and one will naturally emerge as the main man. If not, then the competition will push both on. Like JK said, win win...

Jim said...

And that's why you should never look at stats to prove a players worth as he occupies players and creates space for his teamates. Case in point the third goal against Sunderland. Downing made a great run to drag the defender - Gerrard saw the space and Suarez ran into it. Rightly Gerrard and Suarez were lauded however without Downing's run the goal wouldn't have been possible. This is what Sterling also give us.

Puga Nesh said...

Agree with Jaimie here, Sterling, with time will be a good striker imo. The most confident player should be on the pitch, simple as that. Sterling has tasted first team action, now is the time to put him on subs bench and bring him on when we are winning. Imagine the confidence he will have. I am happy we are starting to have several match winners in our team now. I am happy with the progress of Henderson as he's starting to prove me wrong. Jose will be a great miss though, he was in his most confident period at LFC. Return of Lucas got Gerrard bombarding those Dboxes. Lets climb up table you REDS.

gilstrap said...

 im sure the medical experts at liverpool know him better...if he needs resting rest him ...if hes fine to play why not play him if hes your best option..id like to see all our players rested at points

Stevepotter1980 said...

Completely agree. Allen also needs that rest with Hendo coming in for him.
Also, after these back to back wins with good form, let's not read or talk about top 4 or 3rd place. Lets take it game by game and hold back our hype until its justified. YNWA

Septimus_severus said...

*SIGHS* IT'S A SQUAD GAME..AND WITH A STRONG SQUAD PLAYERS CAN BE RESTED. INCLUDING ALLEN,GERRARD,JOHNSON,SUAREZ,SKERTEL,AGGER.

REINA=JONES (INADEQUATE COVER)

JOHNSON=WISDOM/KELLY (ADEQUATE COVER)

SKRTEL=CARRAGHER/WISDOM (ADEQUATE COVER)

AGGER=COATES/CARRAGHER (ADEQUATE COVER)

ENRIQUE=ROBINSON/JOHNSON (INADEQUATE COVER)

LUCAS=HENDERSON/SAHIN (INADEQUATE COVER)

ALLEN=SHELVEY/GERRARD/SAHIN (ADEQUATE COVER)

GERRARD=SHELVEY/SUSO/ (ADEQUATE COVER)

STURRIDGE=STERLING/ASSAIDI/SUAREZ(ADEQUATE COVER)

STERLING=STURRIDGE/ASSAIDI/DOWNING (INADEQUATE COVER)

SUAREZ=STURRIDGE/YESIL/SINCLAIR (INADEQUATE COVER)


AS YOU CAN SEE I'M ASSUMING A 4 2 3 1 FORMATION AND MY ASSUMPTION IS THAT STURRIDGE WILL PLAY ACROSS A FRONT 3 OR AS A LONE STRIKER.
BASED ON THAT UNLESS THERE IS ANOTHER STRIKER SIGNED WE ARE STILL WOEFULLY SHORT UP FRONT IN THE STRIKING DEPARTMENT.

THAT HAVING BEEN SAID I WOULD RATHER GNAW OFF MY OWN ARM THAN HAVE CARROLL BACK...EVEN FAT SAM DOESN'T FANCY HIM ANYMORE

arthurblundell said...

Now that he's signed,extra work at Melwood is needed,i think he is going to mature into a great player,now it's up to BR to weave his "magic"

ahmed said...

What about borini ??

Nitram1999 said...

Sterling had more belief the first few matches. That's probably the confidence from playing weaker players in the reserves. Now, the speed is too high for him, when it comes to passing. His physical strenght has nothimg to do with it. He just doesn't have the eye for a perfect, quick, pass and therefore his confidence has been steadily dropping. The rest of his game is still level with, or above, most players.

Sangertim said...

Good email. However, you fail to include Borini. It will help if the Ince deal develops; perhaps a No.10 (attacking midfield /playing in the hole / between lines addition would also help creativity up front, but there's no cash available unless Sahin goes. 

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Disagree re Downing, agree Sterling needs a rest which is why we need Ince. Downing should just be cover until the end of the season, then I would get shot. 70-80k pw draining from the clubs finances for a senior player who has contributed so little is bad business imo.

gilstrap said...

I take it you didn't watch the Sunderland game NITRAM because the kid looked good yo me

gilstrap said...

 sterling doesn't need beefing up...giggs has played since he was 16 and hes a lat...players should keep there natural body composition.....owen started getting injured when he beefed up and put weight on ...do you realize the extra strain that is put on joints by a couple of pounds at elite level ...messi is a waif.....sterling's strength is his balance and acceleration ..that will be lost with extra weight ...if you want that type of player sign john fashanu

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Whether or not Sterling's form has tailed off a little (and I think it has and agree he needs a rest) I dont see value from Downing's 70-80k pw wages in terms of what he is producing.

There is no doubt that Sterling will be better for the chances he has had this season and I believe that in the long run Liverpool will be better off also.

If someone came in with even say a modest offer for Downing I would be tempted to bite their hand off to get his wages off the wage bill. Even if that meant no replacement till summer.

I think Ince will eventually come in this month and I think once here, Downing's opportunities will be limited unless Sturridge performs really badly.

1 good month from a 28yo 20M player on 70-80k pw 18 months into his Liverpool career is not good enough for our club. It is unacceptable.

redsun said...

I agree. If we loan him. That will benefit us with his game. We can cover it by Yessil and Suso or Downing. The money from his loan we use to grab Ince sign. Imagine Suarez in right, Sturridge in the middle and Ince in the left. Our attacking will be more various. YNWA!

Ferbourtwa said...

sterling is overrated.. terrible crosser, passer and not strong enough. just another pennant. steve mcmanaman was much much better at his age. he contributes nothing to our attack.

Harjbahia said...

I agree absolutely! 

Septimus_severus said...

 Thanks Sangertim, I'd put Borini as a Striker and playing in a front 3 what do you think?
If Ince comes in he'll have his work cut out for himself.
There are a few players bubbling under in the reserves in Ibe,Sinclair etc this is where Brendan's management skills will come in

Septimus_severus said...

Before you say another word about Sterling please look at his assists this season.
Other than Suarez and Gerrard he's had the most goal assists.

BastienPara said...

Agree with you 110% Jamie. He's defiantly been overplayed so far and few weeks rest would be great for him.

Septimus_severus said...

 LOL funny how Henderson & Downing were given two seasons, now happily accepted as mediocre.
Yet Sterling now has a 'dip in form' and you want him benched or loaned.
Many of you may not realise but I can see the double standards...It's laughable.

What the betting Downings 'form' as some of you like to call a one game wonder DIPS AS SOON AS THE TRANSFER WINDOW CLOSES.

arthurblundell said...

I agree SG needs a rest but while he is performing,let him, you need his leadership in this time of revival.He is heart and soul of this team.Sit back ,watch and enjoy.

Ramzey_Hendrix said...

Couldn't have been said better, but by the time Borini gets to full fitness and assuming we get Ince as well, the real casualty IMO would be Assaidi, I find that hard to swallow especially with the fact that he has been impressive so far within the limited time I've seen him play.

Greg said...

I believe Sterling has gone beyond most peoples expectations of him this season but he needs a rest.
Not only that he needs time to keep developing his game as his passing and finishing and tackling is not up to standard yet.

Sangertim said...

Ibe looks a good prospect, big and strong but is he a BR type player ?. Sinclair has plenty of pace. There's not much experience really in the squad outside of the first eleven, apart from Carra. I think Ince should never have been sold; I know he wanted to play more football but surely he could have shared the wing berth with Stirling over the last 12 months. 

Sangertim said...

There's a lot of Stirling Critics around. Sorry he's 18 years of age, and still learning his game. The passing and defensive side of the game will improve with premiership experience. His PACE will frighten defences for years to come. He's had a fantastic first season, give the guy time to develop.  

orme said...

Luis on the right,  Sturridge central, and Downing to the left. Though Downing is not that good he can give 45-60 minutes of good football and hungry, fresh Sterling can do so much in 30-45.

Zanatos said...

Sterling for his age, looks better than any player i have seen in the prem for many many years, but he still needs to grow more. I`ve said it lots before that we should use him as a sub more. If we get Ince then they can swap a lot more. Start with Ince and bring on Sterling later in the game. Sterling is one heck of a talent, but needs to be managed carefully. Until he hits 20, I would worry about over playing him, as his body needs time to develop. Using him as a sub for the last 20mins of a game, when teams are getting tired may help him to score more goals too.

Zanatos said...

I don`t think it is Critics, more just being wise, he is young and you have to rest them, or you will kill them off. Sterling is awesome, getting time to develop, means resting him, not playing him every single game.

Zanatos said...

I don`t think people want him benched or loaned cause of his dip in form, but because they know he is only 18. It is nothing to do with double standards, more to do with seeing he is one heck of a talent, and not wanting to ruin that. You have to rest young players, or you will burn them out. 

Zanatos said...

Jonjo has had more, just saying.

Sangertim said...

I completely agree Zanatos, I did'nt mean JK's article, I meant by the posted comments above by impatient fans. My previous comments that I have made above agree, young players need time to rest for muscle development and Stirling is a terrfic player and should be carefully managed. 

gilstrap said...

 borini ince sterling suarez sturridge  downing will be our options 3 playing 3 on the bench.....thats what we have lacked....if we dont look like breaking a team down we need alternatives to freshen it up im sick of having a bench full of defenders and midfielders

Soulshalize said...

ur right, people don't seem to understasnd that you need cover in all areas of the pitch in order to be successful.

1) Injuries
2) Cup games
3) Suspensions
4) Europe
5) harder for the oposition team to plan against team selection

All of the above must be taken into concideration, so when i hear people saying " where is he going to play", "where he will be playing is PLAYING HIS PART AS PART OF THE SQUAD.

you are only as strong as your SQUAD!

Hoq said...

Sadly I dont think Sterling, Suso or Shelvey are going to be as good as we had hoped they would. And when more than one of them at a time play, as they sometimes do at the moment it cant really be a suprise where Liverpool stand in the league.

Zanatos said...

I can`t see all three being on the bench, maybe two yes, but I think you do need defenders and mids on the bench too, what happens if it is 0-0 and Agger gets injured? or a mid. I appreciate there is still spots for one of each, but I think going into each game you might only take two spares for up front, and rest one completely

Zanatos said...

Sterling looks amazing for his age, name 5 better players of his age in the last 5 years in the prem? The only ones I can think of who looked as good as him at such a young age are Rooney, Owen and a few from the Arsenal team. Even Walcott didn`t look that good at 18. Suso is still young too, and Shelvey is looking better and better. 

Ramzey_Hendrix said...

You didn't have to post this. You should have kept this "revelation" to yourself. :-|

gilstrap said...

 i dont mean it litrally but you get my point.....great teams have game changers on the bench...bringing lucas on for allen will nine times out of 10 not affect the result.....but throwing yesil or co on for the final 10 can sometimes get you 3 points ...thats where we lack to utd...ferguson hates drawing and goes all out fot the win  we seem to play for a draw at times...thats the metality we need

Guest said...

I'd drop in in a heartbeat. Always gives the ball away.

gilstrap said...

 your joking ......right.......where half way through there first season ...all of the players you have mentiones have been superb in my opinion ...shelvey was superb against man uts til he was sent off ...not bad for a 20 year old.......suso and sterling can be anything they want if they dedicate themselves

gilstrap said...

 so bad he got an england call up at 17....he really is shocking

Hoq said...

I havent "judged" them but I think im pretty good at spotting these things. And im still hoping they can all be better than Walcott.

Hoq said...

They are all great for their age. But I dont see how that disproves my point.

trutherts said...

but if you look at it there is no reason for him to be over used as we have assiadi who looks like a really good player but has been ignored so i wont really be suprised if he still plays a mad amount of games before the end of the season he will still be over used 

trutherts said...

but you forget that we signed assiadi as well but he hasn't played and no 1 knows the reason why so don't be shocked if he is till over used

trutherts said...

totally agreed at youth and at the start of the season he was top quality in the sense that he always looked to beat his man but recently that has decreased 

trutherts said...

i disagree you have to look at it the guy is 18 and his body is still developing its not only the games but the continuous training the guy just needs a rest hes played the most games in the epl this season more than gerrard and suarez so he has just been over used considering his age the same thing happened to wlishere

fester72 said...

I,m sorry but the call up was wrong and should not have occurred.Though he definitlyphili has a great future in front of him he does have a long way to go.philip.d.kelly@hotmail.om

fester72 said...

His leadership, seriously

dave H said...

Most of our forwards are young and only time will tell how they progress over the next couple of years. I'm sure some will turn out to be just mediocre and some will turn out to be very decent. What I find encouraging is that they will be learning and growing together and with an exciting style of quick passing football. Things can only get better. We won't win the league any time soon, but if we keep up this progress then I think being a liverpool fan will once again be a beautiful thing.
That said, my biggest worry for the future is how the hell are we going to replace Gerrard.

rubyrm said...

Jamie, second article you have mentioned about Ince "possible" signing.
Is there something you are not telling us?

Sterling is a young boy doing a mans job. If you are a footballer or an ex player, not necessarily professional, you will know there will be good days and bad days. It is impossible to play every single game with the same consistency. 

Give the kid a break and putting him on the bench will be valuable.
He will fit brilliantly into a supersub  position when teams are tiring to come on do some damage.

Now get Ince and there will be fierce competition with Sterling.

Oms said...

Rotating him and Ince would be great, I think more than anything what we would miss if he was benches is his pace which gives us a greater threat on the counter, though again Ince would also bring that 

Mfimfi said...

RS is definitely one for the future. I don't think he needs to start every game. He has at times frustrated me in games with poor first touches, no end product and some wayward passing. 

if you compare him to M Owen, Wayne Rooney, or even ox-lade chamberlain i don't think he's made the same impact. Maybe in 2 seasons we will see a more rounded footballer.

Bricot said...

Credit where it's due downing has played well for quite a few games now and think people should get behind him. He has the quality and the talent but just lacks confidence.

2Jay said...

We need to be fair to Downing. He was crap during his 1st season when he could hardly conjure up 1 good cross and was Mr Invisible in the games he played. But lately, ever since Brendan told him he will be sold, he has done well for a number of games. He has played well and stating to perform as he is supposed to. Please give crticisms and  credits where its due.

And yes, Raheem need a rest.

Jaimie K said...

test

lizard said...

Thank you very much Downing is a joke is next option after Liverpool was Boro so that says it all dont see Arsenal or Man city or Chelsea looking him. no prem team wants him i agree 100% with you he needs to go all these fans who think he,s playing well want to think what this clown as cost our club we will have to pay him to leave like that other waste of money clown joe cole the sooner we get fid of these shit players the sooner we will move forward and start looking down the table instead of all ways looking up and seeing Everton and spurs above us

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