18 Mar 2015

Mega-Deal: Boss insists 'wonderful' Liverpool star could be sold for '£100m'

The Raheem Sterling contract issue rumbles on, and it looks like Brendan Rodgers is finally starting to see how he's made a rod for his own back with his ridiculous predilection for gross overpraise. In my view, Liverpool should just sell Sterling to the highest bidder, and according to Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini, the 20-year old is worth an extraordinary amount of money.

Discussing homegrown players this week, Pellegrini told ESPN:

"It is important to have English players but can you sign them? You are talking about trying to sign players from clubs that won't sell them. Can you get Sterling? Maybe if you go to Liverpool with £100 million"

If some club out there is stupid enough to offer £100m for Sterling, then Liverpool should take it. The youngster's importance to the Reds is massively overstated (usually by Rodgers), and with the likes of Jordon Ibe and Sheyi Ojo coming through, Liverpool have ready-made replacements already in the squad.

I've argued repeatedly over the last 5+ years that gross overpraise of young players is counter-productive, and I'm constantly shouted down by in-denial fans who refuse to see the writing on the wall. Well, according to the Liverpool Echo this week:

"During negotiations, they [Sterling's Reps] have cited the fact that Rodgers has hailed the England international as the 'best young player in Europe; and insist that he should be paid accordingly [and] are demanding around £150,000 per week.".

There you have it: a direct negative consequence of Rodgers putting players on pedestals.

I've made this point countless times: exaggerated praise is irresponsible, and gives players an absurdly inflated sense of their own worth.

That's precisely what's happening in the current situation: Rodgers has inflated 'wonderful' Sterling's ego to such an extent that he's now drunk on the hype, and believes he is good enough to demand a ridiculous salary to stay at the club.

Responding to accusations that his ludicrous overpraise is affecting the club's ability to reach a reasonable agreement with Sterling, Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo:

“It would be disappointing if an honest opinion on a player is used as a stick to beat you with. But it doesn’t surprise me, it is the modern world. I will always talk well of my players when they are doing well. I think it gives them great encouragement"

Yes, it gives players 'great encouragement'...to hold the club to ransom.

The reality is that Rodgers' irresponsible comments may ultimately lead to Liverpool losing Sterling. I may not like their approach, but his reps have a point: If Rodgers (and others) continually hail the youngster as one of the best young players in the world, then they're entitled to use that as leverage.

Whether Rodgers' opinion is 'honest' or not is irrelevant. It's his job to keep young players grounded and ensure that they don't get too big for their boots, but he's done the exact opposite of that.

What's most disturbing, though, is Rodgers' unrepentant attitude; despite the fact it's obvious that he has created the Sterling situation, he seems to be unwilling to change his approach, and that will cause even more problems in the future.

For me, the Sterling contract situation is an abject failure of leadership. Rodgers is a great manager, but his continual deification of players is damaging, and it consequently has a negative impact on the club.

It also sets the tone for everyone else, and as a result of Rodgers' fawning, everyone else (including current and ex players) thinks it's okay to jump on the bandwagon and lavish praise on Sterling like he's the new Maradona.

FSG and Ian Ayre are also (IMO) at fault. The group should've nipped this in the bud years ago, and demanded that the manager reign-in his sycophantic overpraise.

Well, you reap what you sow. There's a cloying culture of rampant self-aggrandisement/backslapping at Liverpool, and Rodgers is the architect of that. It needs to change, otherwise the Sterling contract situation will become the rule, not the exception.

Author:



59 comments:

  1. So, how exactly is getting Sterling's value to £100m counterproductive again?

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  2. And furthermore, Pellegrini basically said Liverpool wouldn't sell unless they received an offer they couldn't refuse (100m).


    At least the blame is laid at the feet of the manager and the club as opposed to the "player's perpetual greed"

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  3. Rodgers over praise is not counter productive at all is it, we have them all fooled 100mill for Sterling muhahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

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  4. AndWithSuchSimplicity1:49 pm, March 18, 2015

    I'd sell him before people realise he can't pass or shoot.

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  5. Sterling was name European Golden Boy in December 2014.

    Rodgers made his 'best in Europe' comments in April 2014.

    As for the £100m value - that's just one person's opinion, it's not fact. No club is going to pay £100m for a 20 year old; no player that age has ever gone for a feel anywhere near to that.

    It's counter-productive for the reasons stated in the article: Sterling trying to fleece the club for obscene amounts of money.

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  6. BR's comments are a little over exuberant and possibly irresponsible. As to value, will RS actually improve as a player, has he improved over the last six months? If yes, then keep him, if no, then I would take 35m for him now.
    Saying we can get 2nd place is irresponsible, a lucky/hard fought win over Swansea doesn't warrant this comment. Keep your powder dry, one game at a time and if we beat mancs and arse then look ahead.

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  7. After he won golden boy and due to Liverpools lack of top class talent he was always going to fleece the club.

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  8. Pablo Von Mooneyo2:00 pm, March 18, 2015

    100m is crazy for a player that has done nothing in the game! Yes he's a good prospect but atm that's all he is, there's not much regular end product. The squad still has 3 or 4 gapping holes in it that require top class recruitments if we want to push on to the next level, namely a solid GK alternative to Mingnolet, a specialist DMF, another 15-20 goals per season striker and a quality centre half. That's probably around 80-100m IF the Brodge can convince the top class tier to come so yeah, I'd have no qualms whatsoever about selling Sterling for that amount!

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  9. No way that statement means that Pelegrini think Sterling is worth 100 million.

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  10. This Raheem Sterling contract topic/w5tch hunt mixed with praise is counter productive argument needs to walk the plank, jump into the sea and get eaten by sharks!

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  11. I'd take 60M+ for Sterling in a heartbeat, let alone 100M. There are plenty of other players out there, as well as in our academy, that have the potential to be just as good. Sterling's value is inflated because he's English, overpraise, and the fact that he's become a "key" player so early. Fact is we can replace him with Ibe, Depay, Shaqiri, maybe Firmino, etc, etc and make profit if we really feel like it.

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  12. He didn't progress the way I expected, though he is good. Combined with stalling on the contract, high price(probably), think we should sell him..

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  13. Sterling is overpraised and Jordon Ibe and Ojo(?!?) are ready made?

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  14. Nice job Jaimie. In addition to constantly blaming Sterling for this (recently calling him a raging mercenary), now you are saying it's actually Rodgers' fault and that Sterling reps now have a point. Calling Rodgers praising of players an 'abject failure in leadership' is so extreme. It's his style and it clearly works (apart from the start of this season, we have been so strong since Jan 2013). Rodgers has been praising players all last season and also in the last 3 months (Hendo, Can, Coutinho, Mignolet) - what's your proof that this is negatively impacting the club?? Based on recent results, which is the bottom-line goal for our club, the praise clearly works for the players in the team (Hendo has been praised for the last 2 years and it's clearly helped him as he needed that confidence boost - and yes, if he continues to improve then he will deserve an improved contract).

    Over the course of the season, who can Liverpool rely on more? I'd take Sterling over Sturridge anyday. Saying Ojo is a ready-made replacement is ridiculous - he's played 8 games for Wigan in the Championship and now he's ready-made to replace Sterling? Who's putting people on pedestals now?

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  15. Raheem should be paid appropriately for the value of his labour in the market. Anything less would be disgraceful. Rodgers is just stating a fact when he says that Raheem is the best teenager in Europe. It's true, he is. So he should be right at the top of that pay scale -- especially given that he is in one of the worlds top 10 richest clubs, in its richest league.

    Nevertheless it is still a fact that £7.5m p/a or so would be too much, even in England at this point. Around £4m p/a is probably what Raheem's people will have to settle for -- a nice headline figure of say £20m as the value of the whole contract, with plenty of bonuses stacked up. The contract wrangling just looks like showmanship to me. Everyone knows what the likely outcome will be.

    But if I were him I'd be concerned that my agents were small-time. It's ridiculous to price Raheem out of the top dollar move he might earn later in his career at this point. It basically takes all but a handful of clubs out of the market for him, which is very likely to have a negative effect on his earning potential if and when the time comes for him to move on.

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  16. First, no one has said Sterling is valued at, 100m. Pellegrino was simply making an exaggerated point about the over valuation of all British players.
    As for blaming BR for the Sterling situation, most player hearing a manager talk like he does, would take it with a pinch of salt. A lot of managers talk up their young players, after all, Rogers has all day in training to keep the players feet on the ground despite what he says in public. No, if there are culprits, it's the media and ex players. (Rogers didn't name him European Golden Boy, as you mention) I think youngsters are more likely to be effected by the utterings of ex players, than their manager.

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  17. Stop twisting my words. 'Ready-made' as in a similar type of player with the capability of developing at a similar rate. If Sterling leaves, then both Ibe and Ojo can deputise. Ibe has already proven that he has what it takes to compete at the top level, and if Ojo is given a chance, he could also succeed. He may also fail, but it's a risk worth taking (IMO).

    Ultimately, someone else will always come along.

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  18. Please read comments properly. I didn't say Rodgers name Sterling 'European Golden Boy'.

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  19. I didn't say did (deliberately) I said you mentioned it!

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  20. I tend to agree with you here... If an offer comes in during the summer for Sterling that is around £60m+ then i'd be inclined to say take it. I genuinely think he would go to the likes of Chelsea at the drop of a hat! Partly because of the money they would offer him and partly because working with Mourinho would be an attraction, not to mention moving back to London! Dont get me wrong, Sterling is a quality player but for me he is not world class. Is he worth £130k+ a week, maybe in this day and age, not entirely sure - personally I would offer nothing more than £100k a week and then heavily incentivise with goals and assists, which may of course already be the case, but there's clearly something he and his agents are not happy with. Besides, as we've seen with many players, a new contract doesnt mean he will stay anyway, it just means he would earn more money before he chose to leave, particualry if there's a buyout clause included (which there would be).

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  21. You said:

    (Rogers didn't name him European Golden Boy, as you mention)

    I didn't 'mention' that Rodgers named Sterling European Golden Boy. I specifically stated that Sterling won that award, which is true.

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  22. I would contend that we would get to do the same to another club should some idiot start bidding at 50m

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  23. Why the hell was my comment removed?
    I was just confused with your ready-made statement?

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  24. Ready-made doesn't mean capability of developing etc, it means he is ready to replace him.

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  25. I get your view though I agree very very reluctantly because of maybe differing ideas on progress. Progress shouldn't always be seen as a gradient line that needs to steep upwards on a week to week or even month to month basis There are sideway movements too, especially if the timeframe we're talking about is just a season and a half. But yes, contract stall due to immaturity (him/agent), high price (50+ M) just sell him and bring Firmino and Depay.

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  26. Fair enough. One of my happiest moments this season was Ibe coming in and performing so well. I wish he didn't get injured as he was outstanding against Southampton and the weakest part of our team is now RWB at this moment.

    So yes, I agree players can step up if they are good enough. Though Ibe looks to be a major exception as nobody expected that. To me, ready-made means that if Sterling leaves, Ojo is there ready and waiting. I think we are 2 -3 years away from that. Not just ability but also temperament and experience.

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  27. Im not sure your wage for Sterling of 150p/w is correct ?
    According to BR, Sterling has turned down 100p/w PLUS bonuses and wants 150p/w

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  28. Stop sniping. You're just popping up with pointless one-liners in a bid to denigrate, rather than engage in constructive debate.

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  29. Let him go for 50m . He is not loyal to liverpool .
    Ibe and Ojo will end up far better players with a passion for Liverpool

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  30. Give him his 150p/w and tell him he must score /assist more than 30 goals per season .!

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  31. Sniping? A valid question you just didn't like. Ojo is not a ready made by no means..

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  32. I never said he was worth £100m. I'd sell him in a heartbeat if someone was silly enough to offer anything like that. What I am questioning is how BR is to blame for others claiming that £100m value , and exactly why that is counterproductive for the club.


    All top players' wages are obscene by the way, and Sterling's agents will push for a big cut of the massive new deal even if BR had said nothing, since they can quite legitimately claim that they have this year's top European young star- more than enough to consider yourself amongst the likes of Johnson's wage level. and at least 80% of Sturridge's wage mark.


    We all seem to have fallen into this wage envy trap. It's not relevant to us, it's relative to others in the same position. I think Sterling is worth more than Luke Shaw p/w for instance, and more than Johnson for certain.


    I know this is your pet hate, but it's too much of a stretch to blame this overpraise for so mmany things...

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  33. ? Do you mean Sturridge?

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  34. Lets face it Sterling isn't worth anywhere near £100M and I am quite certain if someone offered £50M for him now we would snap their hand off. Pellegrini wasn't in anyway trying to praise Sterling by saying this he was simply trying to make the point that all English players are overpriced hence why City don't have any of them. It is all nonsense really Sterling will never be worth said amount it was just a throwaway comment from Pellegrini to say how ridiculously priced English players are.

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  35. Constructive removing, hahaha..

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  36. sell him even if we manage 30 millions and bring some specialist in his place..Going forward we need specialists not prospects,not squad players..we already have enough of them !!

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  37. Amen! I asked my mates recently "What is Sterling without his pace? Does he have enough still to become a world class played if he lost a step or two?"
    He can't shoot, crosses don't find their target often enough, and his vision isn't exactly world class. You sell him now we get 50-70mil and 100k in wages available - based on reports of what the club is offering. With Johnson and Gerrard both going that's another 300K available in wages.
    That transfer money and available wages can bring in two world class players who are currently better than Sterling and wouldn't cost us any additional funding.
    I really like Sterling but at the end of the day I would rather have two world class players on my team than one potentially world class player

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  38. Ibe is injured already Ojo is an unknown but Sterling is playing at the top level consistently and will probably only get betterji

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  39. In the Echo piece, BR himself explains that he did not say that Raheem was the best in Europe,

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  40. Rodgers did say it. This is his quote verbatim:

    "He's arguably the best young player in Europe".

    Here is the video proving it:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/football/video-1091531/Rodgers-Sterlings-arguably-best-young-European-player.html

    You could've just searched yourself instead of blindly defending Rodgers. Just because he says he didn't say it doesn't make it true.

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  41. Yup! Agree with this completely! You don't see Mourinho or Ancelotti over praise their players every moment he gets! Praise is a great tool to use, but Brendan thinks that cushioning players and over praising them is the way forward.

    If I was Henry and Co I would have told BR to ease of the public praise.

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  42. Then the same will happen...

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  43. Stop splitting hairs. I understood perfectly what did and didn't say and what you meant. European Golden Boy was part of the post, therefore, you mentioned it.

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  44. It's not splitting hairs. Get your facts right. You stated that I *said* that Rodgers named Sterling 'European Golden Boy', which is totally incorrect.

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  45. Please read the comments properly and don't misquote me. I said "as you mention".

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  46. No need to defend Rodgers. As Golden Boy, he is arguably the best young player in Europe.


    Which is exactly what BR said.


    Obviously, the panel agreed


    Presumably, you don't.


    It seems that an awful lot of people don't agree with you that BR's assessment on that video is OVERpraise. Just praise.

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  47. Whether people agree or not is irrelevant. Everyone has their own opinion, and that's fine. However, what you and others seemingly refuse to see is how Rodgers' overpraise is having a negative impact on LFC's ability to keep Sterling.

    Rodgers explicitly addressed the point about how his praise is being used against the club in Sterling's negotiations, and still you stick your head in the sand.

    As Gerrard said, there's no smoke without fire, and it's reasonable to think that the Echo - being based in Liverpool - will have some knowledge of how the negotiations are going, and according to them, Sterling's team is using Rodgers fawning as a way to hold the club to ransom. That is the negative consequence of massaging egos, and if you choose to ignore it, then good for you.

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  48. I made this mistake too, but you're forgetting that Sterling was actually awarded the Best Young Player In Europe award, so it's not really overpraise...

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  49. As you removed my last response, I'll try another, less scathing. I'm well aware you didn't say it. I've always been aware that you didn't say it. Your, not saying it, was fundimental to the article. Do you think I don't understand that. Do you remove posts so that you can be seen to be having the last word?

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  50. Yea I'm done commenting on this topic

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  51. The direct quote you've given is that Sterling's REPRESENTATIVES have used Rodger's own assessment of the player during negotiations. Zero evidence whatsoever that Sterling himself is "drunk on the hype". These negotiations are unquestionably going on between the club and an agent, not Sterling. There are no quotes from Sterling where he's talking himself up as a great player, there is no visible arrogance or suggestions from team mates leaked to the press that he's full of himself. This is a businessman, not Sterling himself, using Rodger's own words in a business negotiation, nothing more.



    So I absolutely agree with you that this is one of the negative side effects of putting too much overt praise on a player. It becomes very difficult to negotiate your way out of anything other than a high paying contract when dealing with ruthless agents whose job it is to get as much money as possible. Rodgers will want to be a bit more careful about making those comments in public where the press will repeat them 1000 times and, in this case, clearly come back to haunt him. Still, he seems unrepentant. From a man management point of view there is zero evidence that the way he speaks of his players is bad for them or their football development. He knows what he's doing and he does it deliberately. He quite simply disagrees with you on this one.

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  52. If Liverpool end up selling Sterling for some absurd fee then what's the problem? You obviously think he's replaceable. Liverpool could stand by their salary offer and so if Sterling refuses then he'll be sold to the highest bidder. You actively encourage that outcome. So in your view that's a good thing. Rodgers praise will have hyped up the player and increased his market value, Liverpool will end up getting a higher transfer fee. That would also be a good thing.

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  53. Sorry I meant Sturridge .

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  54. AndWithSuchSimplicity11:12 am, March 19, 2015

    Unfortunately it's a sad indictment on football, especially English football, that a bloke who has a bit of pace and very little else could command such a fee.
    His decision making is poor, his passes are lazy and underhit (or bobble), and his shooting is weak (even his goal against Chelsea wasn't a clean strike, and don't even start me on that slice at Besiktas).
    I was speaking to someone the other day who said, "He'll learn". Well, I appreciate that, but I resent someone asking for 100k when they are 'learning'.

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  55. With respect, give me a break.
    Do you really think that Sterling's representatives would not have used his Golden Boy Status in negotiations if BR had not mentioned it? Not a chance.
    BR does overpraise to some extent. What I dispute is your conclusions on how much damage it does, whilst also noting that you conveniently ignore the examples such as Hendo for instance, where his public support and praising style has worked positively.
    With respect to heads in the sand, I suggest that on this topic the ostrich tendencies are yours, not mine.

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  56. Yep - we sell him overseas (Real Madrid would be perfect) and get Hoffenheim's Roberto Firmino and Lacazette - and we give Jordan Ibe more game time (with Sheyi Ojo increasingly coming on from the bench) and we'll all be saying "Raheem Who??"...

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  57. Gosh, you're good!

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  58. ...and rot in hell. Amen.

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