9 Sep 2014

Redknapp raves: 'Explosive' £20m LFC star has no 'weakness' to his game. Irresponsible?

The hype over Raheem Sterling just keeps on coming, and Jamie Redknapp is the latest ex-LFC star to heap exaggerated praise on the 19-year old attacker.

Last night, Sterling - rated at £20m by Reds legend John Aldridge - put in another impressive performance for England, and after the 2-0 victory, Redknapp raved:

"Sterling is England’s David Silva. He is such a weapon for England and Liverpool. He is now our best player, and I can’t see a weakness in his game"

Redknapp appears to have changed his tune a little, as a couple of weeks ago, he highlighted one specific weakness in Sterling's game, when he told reporters:

"Sterling is an explosive powerhouse, but needs to score more goals. The challenge will be for him to hit double figures as he continues his rapid rise".

I know I'm in the minority here, but in my view, the hyping of Sterling is out of control. Whether it's Brendan Rodgers comparing him to Lionel Messi; Dietmar Hamann claiming the 'outstanding' young attacker is the best attacker in the Premier League, or Redknapp insisting he is the complete player, the ego-massage is endless, and arguably irresponsible.

Take Redknapp's comments, for example: If Sterling has 'no weakness' to his game, where does he go from here? How does he improve? Where is the incentive to improve if everyone keeps telling Sterling that he's amazing, outstanding, and already at the peak of his powers?

Yes, the hope is that Brendan Rodgers will keep Sterling grounded, but at the end of the day, he's a human being, and he's just as susceptible to believing his own hype as anyone else.

I just don't see why Rodgers, Redknapp et al have to grossly overpraise a 19-year old to this extent. Does Sterling have such a confidence issue that he needs to be mollycoddled to this degree? Probably not, so why is the constant adulation necessary?

Rodgers prides himself on having his finger on the pulse, so it surprises me that he engages in such irresponsible ego massage of young, impressionable players. Indeed, a few weeks ago, he claimed that English football has a 'massive problem' with young players who 'lose their hunger' when they earn so much money. He explained:

"We have to be careful because when you reward young players too quickly, that will be their downfall. Over half the world watch the Premier League, and our young players get carried away, then they wonder why their careers fall away."

The irony here is that Rodgers doesn't seem to appreciate that he is contributing to the very 'downfall' he describes. Rewards don't just come in monetary form; constantly lionising a player like he's some kind of deity can also lead to the player getting 'carried away', and can (IMO) seriously dull competitive edge.

In my view, Liverpool should institute an official internal policy barring excessive public praise of young players, and request that ex-Reds in the media tone down the endless fawning.

Author:



121 comments:

  1. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:01 pm, September 09, 2014

    I dont think sterling is the type to google himself


    eventhough i dont like rodgers much and think lfc should ahve a manger with a bigger cv , sterling clearly trusts rodgers and rodgers has always said he wants to improve the players everyday of his life


    btw rodgers never compared sterling to messi he commented on style and when the media twisted it he rebuked it in the press

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  2. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:05 pm, September 09, 2014

    Just wondering why we still have no vice captain


    maybe it would be better to have none , rodgers said evryone has responsibility for each other on the field so if stevie is injured rodgers can pick from what is available temporarily to avoid a situation like agger


    where the vc is not playing


    plus lallana and lovren might be given the chance to show their leadership qualities

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  3. But he does have a weakness in his game still and it is the mental agility to pass or shoot at end game. He moves well with the ball and is getting better in close quarters, but sometimes I wonder if he knows exactly what his end-game plan is. Other than that his only other weakness isn't really a weakness. It's that he is so young there are plenty of situations he faces that he hasn't faced before...i.e. experience. Still he's had a year of solid PL experience and that is independent of his age. I think we're making too much of the age thing.

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  4. Sterling has been compared to Zidane, Silva, Overmars, Ronaldo, Messi, Maradona and so on. I have even heard people calling other youngsters "the next Sterling"......lol. Just let him play his natural game rather than comparing him to every legend of the game.

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  5. a better CV? Rogers is the very reason we finished 2nd, he lives and breaths LFC for god sake!

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  6. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:11 pm, September 09, 2014

    plus jaimie all the best players can handle this so called "overpraise"


    messi won a cl at the age of 18 and was already in argentina squad being called new maradona , fernando torres also was atletico best player at the age of 17
    they both improved so they can win individual trophies and get a lot more money
    liverpool should give him payoffs id he reaches a certain target like ferguson used to do with ronaldo , ferhie used to say eh would cut of ronaldos hair that no doubt motivated him

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  7. I seem to remember a guy who used to pray to Dalglish to let Sterling play because he was such an amazing talent. Yes, that was you JK. Now, he's clearly a weapon - as Redknapp says - already multiple assists/goals for Liverpool/England and seems to have grown a lot physically and mentally.

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  8. This is life in Football, always has and alway will

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  9. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:12 pm, September 09, 2014

    i heard ibe being called new sterling

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  10. What the hell I'm gonna say it -Sterling is a brilliant player who can attack, defend, score and assist.
    Oh yeah, he's quick too!

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  11. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:14 pm, September 09, 2014

    trophy
    erm pl? no
    erm but he won the champions league once ? oh wait he did not
    not to fear at least he won that mickey mouse cup , wait eh did not win that either


    as mourinho said "first is first , second is nothing"

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  12. Sterling is going to be immense IMO and Rogers said to the press that young players are being over paid (this was in reply to being asked if Sterling deserved a new deal). Sterling does need more time and that he will get but mark my words come the age of 22-24 he will be a world beater and why shouldn't we enjoy him now and then and watch his growth and lavish praise when praise is due!

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  13. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:15 pm, September 09, 2014

    yeah jk is gonna be praying for sterling to play
    when people are dying everyday


    seriously?

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  14. Spot on. We are extremely lucky to have him

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  15. oh now you've done it

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  16. Think it will be Lovren, but we'll see

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  17. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:18 pm, September 09, 2014

    sterling is the most exciting player i ahve seen since torres
    when they get the ball you always expect something to happen




    he needs a new contract whatever it takes make him the highest paid in the pl if needs be that is how we kept gerrard
    if rooney is worth 300k a week sterling is worth 750k a week ,

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  18. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:18 pm, September 09, 2014

    excuse me?

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  19. 7th in he 1st season at a so called big club and at the time we where not even that. 2nd in his second season taking us back to where we belong in the CL....playing football that is a JOY to watch, tell me Mr, when did you last go the Anfield looking forward to seeing us play until Rogers came along, i expect it was Roy Evans's Era

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  20. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:20 pm, September 09, 2014

    see under rafa there is no nerves
    he has everything tight
    his teams were composed


    liek i said i would rather win 1-0 then 4-3

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  21. Also Dele Alli and Rolando Aarons

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  22. it was solid football yes, but god it was boring towards the end!

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  23. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:21 pm, September 09, 2014

    but what do you think about my idea?


    pick whoever is playing for vc
    so if a player loses form the person in the team will get the armband
    dropping a vc could really hurt the ego of that guy whoever it is

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  24. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:24 pm, September 09, 2014

    rafa was amazing how he set the team up


    he had carra and hyypia in the center solid reina leading the back 4
    gerrard ,mascherano and alonso so controlled best midfield ever
    then my favorite player fernando torres in scintillating form

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  25. as long as there is a solid captain it could be a good thing, but then again players like continuity and routine this my be counter productive and create cliques...

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  26. Can anyone point out a better attacking English player right now?

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  27. With all due respect Jaimie you've been banging this over-hype drum for quite some time and all during that time Sterling just keeps getting better, as do pretty much all our young players. Frankly if it ain't broke don't fix it and there's nothing needing fixed regarding Raheem Sterling right now, he's been nothing short of sensational

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  28. No. There isn't one

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  29. dude i think rodgers is perfect..after a long time we got to see liverpool play such an exciting football..wats the problem in winning 4 -3 as long as we are winning..i wonder if ferguson wud ve been removed at that time because of CV according to you what wud ve happened in mancs history..learn to back up the manager because you are just commenting here while he is actually managing.

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  30. You must be confusing me with someone else as I've never done what you've described here.

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  31. He then tried selling Alonso so he could bring in ............ Gareth Barry.

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  32. You've been complaining about this for some time now yet Sterling keeps improving and improving. For me this complaint just has no value whatsoever. BR is clearly handling him exceptionally well and I feel your claims of him being irresponsible are a bit disrespectful to his work.

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  33. Jonathan Capozzola8:36 pm, September 09, 2014

    Not Suarez?

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  34. i seem to recall on a certain TV program i watched, cant for the life of me remember what it was called (i have blanked it from my memory it was that bad) BR giving a young 17 year old sterling a rocket up his backside for his attitude and telling him to change it or ship out, trust me when i say this BR may be all nicey nice in public but he knows how to get a grip of players if they step out of line.

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  35. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:38 pm, September 09, 2014

    suarez has no pace he cant run away from defenders


    he was a bettee player all round but not more exciting

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  36. Jonathan Capozzola8:38 pm, September 09, 2014

    Don't love the over-hype but I'm also not sure it makes a difference to the player himself. I would hope he is professional enough to put his head down and keep working to get better. His finishing is definitely one area he can improve but he is well on his way to becoming a great player for club and country.

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  37. Yeah I was thinking that. Surely Suarez was the most exciting player Liverpool have ever had.

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  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:40 pm, September 09, 2014

    i can imagine that though
    some scottish ceremony
    "god , we all pray for sterling"

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  39. Jonathan Capozzola8:40 pm, September 09, 2014

    I was always on the edge of my seat when Suarez had the ball - he could turn a game in an instant.

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  40. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:42 pm, September 09, 2014

    but he tried to do it all the time


    a lot of the time when the easy option was there he would try nutmeg really frustrating especially when on the back foot
    torres played for the team more

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  41. The most unpredictable and imaginative player i have ever seen play

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  42. In other news...


    Robbie Fowler applies for Leeds United manager's job

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  43. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:43 pm, September 09, 2014

    true
    i just guess we have different ideas about exciting

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  44. Jonathan Capozzola8:43 pm, September 09, 2014

    To each his own, can't really argue with Torres in his prime either that was fun to watch as well.

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  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:43 pm, September 09, 2014

    in other news


    neymar took a photo with phillipe coutinho

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  46. I say - praise where praise is warranted, and with Sterling the praise ' IS ' warranted. As you say ''i'm in the minority here'' but there's no harm in having a different opinion to almost everyone. IMO Redknapp hasn't really changed his opinion, just stated something we all recognise (more goals required) and that i believe will be what keeps pushing this very very exciting talent forward.

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  47. hahaha sorry that made me laugh out loud :-) good one!

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  48. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:45 pm, September 09, 2014

    daniel sturridge
    ross barkley is equally exciting

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  49. Exactly. At the end of the day you can't just base your arguments on suppositions of someone possibly letting the praise get to his head in some near or distant future that nobody knows about. You've got to look at the acheivements on the pitch and give credit where credit's due, which means to the individual for responding positively on the pitch and to the coaches around him for doing what is necessary to make him maintain that form.

    There's not always something to complain about.

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  50. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:46 pm, September 09, 2014

    if he did not have injuries

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  51. So Mourinho thinks his team Chelsea are nothing, based on your quotes, they didnt even finish second last season.

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  52. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:47 pm, September 09, 2014

    daily mail once

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  53. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:49 pm, September 09, 2014

    maybe that was shankly

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  54. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:50 pm, September 09, 2014

    i actually think barry would have been a good signing maybe as good if rafa disciplined him

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  55. knowledgeable reliable source ;-)

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  56. Torres in his prime was as good as anything in the world but, when it started to go wrong it seemed to me he didn't put the effort in. In Dalglish's book didn't he say he was told as soon as he came back that there was a problem with Torres's attitude. Suarez, even though he was trying to get away in his last year always gave 100%. Would of been interesting to see em playing together.

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  57. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:52 pm, September 09, 2014

    my cousin also said that
    but my cousin used to say jay spearing was the new stevie g
    so ......

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  58. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:54 pm, September 09, 2014

    hard to keep youself motivted when bolton are above you thursday night football
    despite winning the world cup

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  59. Torres was never the same after doing his hamstring in the World Cup Final, we did very well getting 50+m for him looking back at it. money well spent Carroll and LS where bought with that money

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  60. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:56 pm, September 09, 2014

    maybe as useful to the team


    like hendo is not as good as ozil but he is more vital to us then ozil

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  61. i saw well spent due to selling LS for a small fortune!

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  62. Sterling is such a breath of fresh air & one of the only few to be able to make things happen! For England's sake build the team around him, he's fearless, physically strong (ask Behrami) & quick & direct. He's worth the hype & more! His rapid improvement from being Downing's understudy to a fully fledged international in such a short space of time is amazing!

    He is so vital for LFC it's untrue. He is fulfilling his potential but I will say his finishing can improve but everything else is so natural to him!

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  63. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:58 pm, September 09, 2014

    he needs a new contract give him 250k a week like suarez used to


    it is vital


    or he will end up at city or one of the spanish

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  64. I'll base my arguments on whatever I like, so please don't tell me how to think.

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  65. Nevergonnacrackthecode8:59 pm, September 09, 2014

    but i think english players are less likely to go spain
    mainly because they are so pampered here
    it is a good thing

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  66. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:02 pm, September 09, 2014

    he did not mean to offend you
    i apologies on his behalf

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  67. Yeah maybe but as a Liverpool fan I want to see our players putting in 100 percent to try and get us out of a hole. One particular game sticks in my mind, I think it was Wolves at home in the Hodgson era. You could tell Torres didn't fancy it, he just strolled around and barely broke sweat. We lost 1.0 and I think we only had one shot all night, it was awful. I want to make it clear though I'm not a Torres hater, he was world class for a couple of seasons here but like somebody else said, I think the injuries caught up with him in the end.

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  68. "Not many three Lions stars grew up in a gun filled Jamaican Slum"
    Any guesses which paper printed that this morning, some praise indeed.

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  69. Ozil and Hendo play in different positions though mate. Barry/Alonso play the same position so it's easier to compare. Barry is a decent PL player but Alonso was top top class. We just need to look at he career he's had since he left us. Rafa should never of been allowed to manage a team again for even contemplating swapping Alonso for Barry! (That was a joke before any of the pro Rafa brigade start slating me).

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  70. showing your age here! best midfield ever ? I'll have Souness, Case, Kennedy ;-)

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  71. enjoyed his twitter rebuke ...

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  72. I doubt he'll go to City, maybe Spain! Any how if BR continues this progressive style of football Sterling will flourish! I will say that Saurez seem to have a positive influence on him, looking back on their link up play.

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  73. McDermott was very good, Souness, McDermott and Gerrard for me.

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  74. sorry ... i referred to a midfield that played together.

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  75. Yes, but a disgraceful thing to print, they hate LFC and all its staff and players, and very seldom miss a chance to criticise us, even that quote ws praise.

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  76. If he is going to be a world class player he is going to be a world class its it doesn't matter if people are bigging him up or not. Ronaldo,Pele , Maradona Messi got hyped in their teens and they lived up to their potential.

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  77. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:16 pm, September 09, 2014

    who was it?
    the sun?

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  78. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:17 pm, September 09, 2014

    which paper was it?

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  79. Dalglish was the same.

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  80. Sorry, always liked Whelan, Molby and Johnston. Had a bit of everything. Won the double.

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  81. Has 3 letters, starts with an S and ends with an N.

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  82. Agreed, not only do they leave themselves open to be despised by Liverpool fans, but also England fans and football fans in general ..... SHIT PAPER !

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  83. Took Torres off for Ngog when we were 2-1 down at Reading... I'll never forget Gerrards face

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  84. The Sun- very classy!

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  85. unfortunately i was never able to see him play, i have watched countless tapes and recordings true quality!

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  86. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:30 pm, September 09, 2014

    took gerrard off for lucas and lucas won a penalty vs everton


    sometimes it goes for you sometimes not

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  87. I didn't even mention you. I don't have a clue what you're talking about.

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  88. Yeah he made some strange decisions. Never truly agreed with the way he treated Robbie Keane. Voronin got three seasons at liverpool, Keane got six months. When he sold him at a massive loss too he never replaced him and left us with only Ngog as cover.

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  89. thought it may have been the same source that tipped you off about Hendo being out for 3 months and Studge for 4 months ...

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  90. Would agree with all that. I loved Rafa but he made some truly baffling decisions in his time

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  91. Nevergonnacrackthecode9:45 pm, September 09, 2014

    that was my experience as a liverpool fan talking
    it has always all gone wrong
    i remember how owen and torres career got ruined with injuries
    so i always fear the worst

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  92. in my first comment I said that Sterling kept on improving despite the praise and that for me calling BR irresponsible was a tad disrespectful. Can I please know why it was deleted ?

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  93. It really is a despicable institution. That quote shows their level. The gutter is too good for them

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  94. You know nothing about football!!!! BR is the best thing to happen to LFC for years.

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  95. The English media has the hype machine running 24/7.They know how to generate talking topics and broadcasters specialize in coercing people into saying things that make headlines.When it comes to talking about talented kids they build them up into superstars.It's just how things work in this country.
    Jamie Redknapp and others are probably pressured to feed into the hype from broadcasters like Sky who pay their wages.They want people working for them who are completely open.Not the hold back types that worry about protecting players.
    Raheem Sterling's development doesn't stop on the pitch.Staying grounded away from football is important too.That's where his support team comes into play.It's not the responsibility of pundits!

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  96. He was down-played a lot when he first came to prominence, and rightly so at it seemed as though his agent was threatening to try and move him to Spurs if we didn't increase his wages. His form subsequently dropped. He's turned it back around and is DEVELOPING into the player we hoped he would be and more goals would certainly constitute further improvement. I think he's a very exciting prospect and the hype is one of football fans who predict a future superstar. Let's hope the stagnation of Wilshere is warning enough that he doesn't rest on his laurels!!


    In truth, before the Suarez WC biting incident, I honestly thought Suarez would stay with us for one more season, and that a big part of that decision was Raheem Sterling. A bit naive, but the kid is special. Coutinho should take note. Sterling, Sturridge and Henderson seem to have learnt a lot from Suarez's work ethic and fearless football, let's hope that continues to spread.

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  97. Michael Owen at the same age was better then Raheem. The praise towards Raheem is vastly exaggerated. Even the better Michael was no way near the finished article at 18 or 19.

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  98. Both those shouts are good

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  99. I agree, but Gerrard shouldn't be a guaranteed starter anymore. If he doesn't play, then who will be captain? Giving it to a different guy every non-gerrard match doesn't seem like a very good idea, but giving it to the same guy every game would essentially make him VC anyway...

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  100. I really don't think it makes any difference. Some players read the papers and some don't. What Sterling does and does not think about himself is somewhat beyond what a few random pundits say. Even if you could control the journos, what about the tweets and facebook posts? What about the adoring fans? The only person who is really in control of Sterling's ego is Raheem himself, it's up to him to know just how good he is, how hard he needs to work and what he's really capable of. I don't think it has a fraction of the effect you suggest it does and there is no evidence to support the theory.


    As for Rodgers - the man obsesses about the game, is a total control freak and has a dedicated sports shrink working at the club. He's consistently praised for his man management skills and based on what we've already seen from Sterling I think he' knows what he's doing. I don't the way he praises a player is accidental, I don't think it's just ad-hoc off the cuff ranting. He knows what he's doing and I think he chooses his words quite carefully. He would say the things he does because he knows the effect that they have, so I think cherry picking some small selection of his comments and suggesting that they are problem is off the mark.


    The only thing we need to ask is this: have Rodgers' man management skills improved Raheem Sterling since he's been in charge of the club? The answer is unquestionably YES. There is no problem.

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  101. I think Raheem Sterling is much better than Owen was at the same age.Michael Owen was a media favourite who scored spectacular goals.The goals against Newcastle and Argentina spring to mind.Both were amazing bits of brilliance.
    Michael Owen had a much weaker all round game than RS' and he never developed and turned into the finished article.He won a Ballon d'or for scoring in big matches not for being a complete player.
    Strength: Sterling battles and wins duels with players twice his size.Paul Ince was Michael Owen's personal bodyguard when players tried to rough him up.
    Presence: Sterling is always looking to get on the ball and makes a big impact on near enough matches.Owen would have moments in a match but never actively got involved throughout a game.
    Skill: Michael Owen beat players with speed not tricks.Sterling can do both and is clearly more skilful.
    Passing: Sterling without doubt has a better variation of passes short and long in his locker.He makes himself available with intelligent movement for the player on the ball and contributes to good team passing.Michael Owen's link up play was poor.
    Speed: Both very quick but Raheem is probably faster but this is turning into a landslide so let's just say they were level.
    Workrate: Raheem Sterling.
    The only things Owen had over RS was his movement in terms of getting into scoring positions.And the other he wins by a country mile...
    Shooting: Sterling is nowhere near the level Michael Owen was at finishing chances.

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  102. Take Jonston out and put in the great John Barnes

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  103. I think the same of John Barnes. Could do anything and everything with the ball and frequently did. An amazing player and a good guy too.

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  104. Why do you get so aggressive when anyone with half a brain can see that he was just making his point in a calm manner? You set the tone here yet complain when others respond in similar fashion.

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  105. I do not know where this perception that Torres injury effected him.


    When he signed for Chelsea they stated that he was 100% fit.


    Do you think Chelsea would of signed him, a £50mil player, broke the transfer record for him if he wasn't fit?


    Liverpool's club doctor at time said that Torres was fitter when we sold then when we purchased him.


    Physically there was nothing wrong with Torres. The reason Torres never did well for Chelsea is mostly down to tactics.


    You watch how Liverpool Played with Torres and then compare the way Chelsea played.


    John Barnes has often spoke about why he could never reproduce his form for England.

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  106. First off they play in different positions so you really can't compare them. Secondly if you really want to xompare them them the only thing Owen was better at then Stirling was finishing but then you would expect that considering Owen was a out and out striker and Stirling isn't.

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  107. Young English players always get hyped up.. David Bentley anyone... As for Stirling for me the most important question is has BR improved Stirling as both a player and person, the answer for me is yes

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  108. no. this is just not true. those champions league games almost gave scousers a collective heart attack. more often than not we won the match, but there were very nervy moments. Carragher built a reputation from last minute blocks for goodness sake. thats the definition of nerves.

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  109. what redknapp means is that theres no obvious weakness in his game to exploit. that is clearly not saying that theres nowhere to improve..

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  110. We can say with certainty that Stirling is no Ronaldo, nor is he a Pele and he definitely isn't a Maradonna or Messi either. These comparisons simply ludicrous.

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  111. I agree that the hype over Sterling is getting out of control but it doesnt seem to be stopping him. He looks like he is improving with every performance. Also slight factual error in the article. BR never actually compared him to Messi from what I can tell. I believe it was a fabricated quote. In a press conference a few days later he said that he was surprised to read that he was quoted as saying that as in fact he never did.

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  112. No doubt he feels right at home in liverpool then.

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  113. Yeah agreed, forgot about Jonny Barnes, great player.

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  114. I agree JK Sterling is shite and the sooner everybody realises this the better things will be............ Not of course sterling is a special player and he needs to know he is , he is not perfect but he could be in time. Encouragement is a great thing

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  115. Are they?!?!!! He's 19 and already one of the most important players for Liverpool and England. He's better than Ronaldo was at 19. He will have to improve further still, no doubt, score more and maybe pick up some free-kick skills, but it's certainly not impossible for him to be mentioned as one of the world's best. Time will tell. But as it stands I would much rather have him in my team than say Hazard, for example.

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  116. So you would compare him favourably against the two best footballers in the world currently playing and two of the games all time greats. There is no doubt that Stirling is a talent with potential however your opinion falls well short of impartial.

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  117. Suarez is the reason liverpool finished second, he was coddled by Rodgers and praised up every five minutes despite his behavioural issues. That didn't end so well.

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  118. sterling is sterling and if he reaches his highest level it doesn't matter what anyone thinks. The great players make it to the top no matter what.

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