29 Jan 2015

'He struggles with...': Henry urges 'frightening' £26m LFC star to improve his 'finishing'

Last week, Paul Scholes revealed that he 'doesn't rate' Raheem Sterling's shooting ability, and described his 'bobbling, scuffed' striking of the ball as a major 'weakness'. Poor striking of the ball often equates to poor finishing, and one of the Premier League's greatest ever strikers appears to agree with Scholes' assessment.

In his weekend column for The Independent, Scholes observed:

"I don’t rate him [Sterling] that highly as a striker of the ball.

"I feel that the weakness in his game is his strike. His touch is good. His problem is the hit. Too often his shots are a scuff or a bobble".


After Liverpool's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea on Tuesday, Arsenal legend Thierry Henry praised Sterling's 'frightening' ability, but also highlighted a tangentially related issue:

“What he [Sterling] doesn’t have yet is finishing. He struggles with it sometimes but that will come with time. He has everything you need. He’s good one vs one, he has pace, and his movements are sharp".

In a previous article, I highlighted Sterling's shots-per-goal ratio (13 shots per goal), but I only included Premier League stats. In all competitions:

* Total Appearances: 32
* Total shots: 86
* Goals: 7
* Shots on target: 40
* Shots per game: 2.6
* Shots per goal: 12.2
* Shooting accuracy: 48%

Stats: ESPN

These stats clearly show that Scholes and Henry and correct with their assertions. To illustrate the point further: Liverpool have failed to win any of the last three games (Chelsea x2/Bolton), and Sterling's shooting stats for those matches are as follows:

* Total shots: 12
* Shots on target: 3
* Shooting accuracy: 25%

£26m-rated Sterling was pretty anonymous against Chelsea on Tuesday, and unless his shooting/finishing improves, his chances of developing into a top-class striker seem slim.

When Daniel Sturridge returns, the Sterling-as-striker experiment will hopefully come to an end, and he should revert back to the number 10 role and/or playing wide in a front-three.

Unless, of course, Rodgers reverts to a 352 and plays Sterling and Sturridge up front together...

Author:



41 comments:

  1. He could be gone by end of this season.

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  2. Great point! Reasons to go are outweighing reasons to stay! "Stay because we are Liverpool" mantra has gone. Perhaps a scouser born & bread may take those words to heart.

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  3. AndWithSuchSimplicity2:27 pm, January 29, 2015

    Air turbulence, probably.

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  4. They're both dead right. Sterling seems to always sidefoot the ball when he finishes. But we should also not expect too much from a 20-year-old. The main point is that if he can address this issue, he will be fightening good. Let's say it takes him 2 years. Then at 22 we'll have one of the best players in the world at our club (I wonder for how long though)

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  5. AndWithSuchSimplicity2:27 pm, January 29, 2015

    The one he DID score with against Chelsea bobbled in. It wasn't a clean strike by any means. Same with his passing - he had opportunities to lay on shooting chances on the edge of the box and bobbled the ball to his teammates making it almost impossible to hit.
    A bit like Skrtel's passing..... ;)

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  6. sterling's finishing isn't there yet but he's on track to be a world beater, he's only 20 and is our best player in my eyes, just hope is stays

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  7. Perhaps this doesn't have anything to do with it, but ultimately, he's simply not a striker.


    Put him on the wing, play him in a attacking midfield role... but ultimately he can't be the leader of the front line.

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  8. I think that cross to Henderson must have bobbled too how else do you explain the miss?


    If he can set up a chance like that per match against top opposition he's doing a good job for the team.

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  9. All the Liverpool players seem to struggle to shot straight !

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  10. Scholes also said Sterling (or Stirling to his friends) is a major asset to LFC and Henry says he is frightening and his shooting will improve . Hardly the time to give up on the experiment

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  11. 3-5-2 means you only have one or two places for attacking midfielders and we have too many of them so I think, especcialy with bringing a natural winger back from a loan, that we won't play that formation. 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 diamond are our best formations if defence can manage it.

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  12. Off topic, but just had a good laugh over an article claiming Arsenal are in for Suarez again.
    ...patiently waiting for the sound of a window shutting.

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  13. Jamie - Time to take a holiday mate because B R has confirmed what we all knew - NO MONEY FOR TRANSFERS IN JANUARY - FULL STOP

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  14. Yea I saw that as well...


    75,000,001


    Hahahaha

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  15. AndWithSuchSimplicity5:27 pm, January 29, 2015

    Chapter 3: Evra's a Cu**

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  16. If he goes Studge will follow because he'll think he is worth at least as much and he'll be right.

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  17. Flossing for Fun. : )

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  18. To be honest I think Henry and Schole's overpraise will be massively detrimental to Sterling. All the praise up to now has only made him a worse player ;p


    I voted you up as soon as I read what was in brackets.

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  19. AndWithSuchSimplicity5:27 pm, January 29, 2015

    Anyone read his book yet??

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  20. 352 gives us more defensive solidity and we have two attacking midfield options. Ibe is a natural winger so don't be surprised to see him as a wing back. If Markovic stays where he is that wold mean we have Lallana, Sterling, Coutinho and Gerrard for attacking mid. Ibe, Markovic, Moreno, Enrique, Johnson and Manquillo for wing back. Manquillo and Johnson may play wide CB and Ibe and Markovic could play AM. Considering the injuries to Sturridge and Lallana and the Europa league games I think we can stay in this formation and rotate accordingly. The drop off in quality may be harsh though at times.

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  21. That topic covers chapters 3-12, i believe.

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  22. He's bluffing......or double bluffing.....

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  23. Apparently it's a term of affection in South America

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  24. To be a world beater you should start as early ahe as posible, look at messi, he is already become the world beater at streling age .........

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  25. That's the poin why for the third times I said, never played sterling as striker, for he is a chance maker, let the real striker finish it........YNWA

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  26. I don't necessarily think we should "give up" on Sterling as a striker, but even now he still tends to drift wide. His skill set suits a wider position much more naturally than as a #9. I'd like Sterling to succeed there, personally I think we'd see him become better as a wide forward or #10 that drifts into channels.

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  27. Costa contesting the stamping charge - some PL team should sign Lavezzi and we should look for somebody called Starbucks

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  28. Plus there is no room for Flanno there and I won't have that!

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  29. Chapter 13 is appropriately titled:


    "Why is Luis Suarez always so hungry?"

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  30. I'd add markovic and henderson to the list of players who have a woeful shot in liverpool. coutinho has improved a bit in that respect but he needs to be burying shots with more consistency.

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  31. The shame is if Suarez actually called him that instead, he wouldn't have been suspended.


    And it would have arguably been factual.


    Hindsight is always 20/20. Dang.

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  32. Just don't like the wing back position to be permanent for either Markovic or Ibe, though I think it is perfect as a ticket in the team. They learn the defensive duties and how to press, but... You lose their impact in the final third- for that impact to be seen we have to play teams defending which means teams from mid table in EPL and lower, our goal should always be beating those from the top. My best friends are Juve and Milan fans so I look alot of Italian football and I came to that conclusion- the reason Juve can't do something big in Europe is that their opponents in Serie A are all at least bit worse than them so they can choke them possesion and high pressing from wing backs- Lichtainer especially, and evenif they lose to their direct title opponent they will always lose less points to 'smaller' teams. But in Europe it is a differnt story and that approach won't cut it for them against Barca, Munich, and Atletico for sure. And we have top 5 in the EPL worthy of CL football, so it probably won't work for us either. It could work with two Bales as wing back as he was awesome as full back, but none of our full back position contenders are on that level- defending nor attacking.
    It is a good formation to turn to as a solution for injury problems against 'smaller' teams, but no way it should be our default formation...

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  33. No wonder my nan keeps calling me that.

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  34. Yes. Apparently orme and islesfan74 do too :-(

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  35. Bale was never that great at defending. But I see your point. I would argue that if we were clinical we could easily have beaten Chelsea who are a top side in the prem and Europe. The issue is that no formation is perfect but this one seems to suit a lot of our players. Most teams we play in the league (therefore most points) are not great and so we can pick up plenty of points and teams in the FA cup and even Europa maybe are of that lesser standing you talk about. I think for the remainder of this season at least it has to stay if working but next season we can look to change.

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  36. Messi had some of the world's best passers of the game has ever seen around him also. They literally just put everything on silver platter and let simple finishes work. Pure striking ability, C. Ronaldo is far superior than Messi. Not many players get the opportunity Messi had starting at Barca. That team was loaded and helped him, don't get me wrong Messi took advantage of what was put in front of him and was clinical. But lets day he was put in liverpool at that age right now, it could be a totally different outcome.

    We all need to quit comparing Sterling to these guys. Let him grow and develop before we thrust these titles on him. He is only 20, let him mature physically and mentally without the pressure. Applaud his effort and focus, quot demanding more now.

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  37. Suarez drifted to wise positions, so do Reus and Messi. It's a comfort thing and tactical. It draws players out of position to create spaces for midfield or hopefully creates a mismatch on a fb for him to go after.

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  38. What I meant was Sterling is much more productive starting out wide and coming in toward play rather than starting center and isolating himself out wide.

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  39. I get what your saying, right now it's not as effect as when Saurez would do it cause he is the lone striker. But playing him with Sturridge or Balo, especially Sturridge who plays off the shoulder and has the pace to get in behind, it will really stretch defenses. It's more the system that is stunting that drift out wide.

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  40. I'm not comparing players, i just made a statement that sterling is good but not as briliant as you think, so expect less and let him grow, if je want to go, just let him go, that's all..........

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