14 Sept 2012

'I'm worried' - John Barnes reveals his fears for 'fantastic' LFC star's future...

The Raheem Sterling hype-machine is in full swing at the moment, and despite Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers calling for calm, the effusive praise just keeps on coming and the expectation level keeps rising. Liverpool legend John Barnes has joined Rodgers in appealing for calm, and he's urged fans to moderate their expectations.

After being snubbed by Stuart Pearce for a place in the England U21 squad, Sterling went one better and received a call up to the senior England team, which capped an incredible six months for the youngster.

In an interview earlier in the week, Barnes argued that Roy Hodgson was wrong to call-up Sterling:

"He [Sterling] bypassed the under-21s straight into the full squad, but I think he should have been in the under-21s"

Sterling probably wouldn't agree (!), but Barnes clearly has the youngster's best interests at heart, as he explained:

"Raheem has done fantastically well but I am worried about the fans’ response and what their expectations are. To put a lot of expectation on a young boy’s shoulders is unrealistic. I don’t know how he’ll cope with it but I’m urging other people not to expect too much and not to put him under pressure".

"I’m just hoping for it not to be a Theo Walcott situation, where he was taken to the World Cup as a young player and, because of the expectancy on him, his...career kind of faltered for a while"

If his development continues positively, I think it's safe to speculate that Sterling has a big chance of being selected by England for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, when he'll still only be 19.

I don't think fans have to worry that much though; Rodgers knows what he's doing, and given his comments on the subject, I'm sure he'll handle Sterling in the right way.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Barnes has a point here, but no use in killing the momentum that this kid is generating for himself.
    Comparisons with Walcott are inevitable, but I think the difference is Walcott doesn't seem to have a lot of fight/desire/leadership in him - hopefully Sterling will develop into one of the leaders in the future.

    That being said, I just hope that Sterling's progress will encourage the likes of Assaidi, Sahin, Suso, Morgan and Yesil - all these kids are older than Sterling and should really be fighting hard to prove that they should be getting more first team time than Sterling, not the other way around.

  2. Rodgers told Pearce not to pick him, then Hodgson called him up so he gets to see if he keeps improving then he will be in the full squad soon.

  3. All these hype will not do any good for the kid. Rodgers is protecting the Raheem and the kid must understand that. Look at how Fergie has protected Ryan Giggs when he first broke into the united team. What we don't want is for the players, his family and agent think that they are working in the interest of the player, demand exorbitant pay rise. There may be interest from other clubs too. Spurs made a £7 million bid for him in close season , which was rejected out if the hand. They and others will come sniffing again in December when the boy turns eighteen. If Walcot signed for Arsenal for £12 million as a virtual unknown six years ago, just think how much Raheem would cost in today's market. If the player cannot accept the amount that Liverpool thinks is fair, then let the player leave for the highest bidder.

  4. I think Sahin is already in the first eleven. Players like Henderson and Downing who should be working doubly hard to retain their place in the squad, not to mention the team. These two will be shown the door come end of the season if they do not show vast improvement from last season's debacle.

  5. Im more worried that Chelsea will buy him.

  6. I reckon Sterling is just the first of a number of very exciting

    youngsters coming thro` the youth system . Borne out by

    yesterdays game v Chelsea . Liverpool played some really

    great football . Now eagerly await the next gen series against

    the youngsters from Europe . Anyone who is able should get

    along to Langtree Park , St Helens rugby stadium , where all

    the home games will be played .

  7. No way now , should anyone now be the nailed on

    first choice , these young lads must come into the


  8. they are poaching some excellent young lads. they signed a gem from celtic called islam feruz. whether they have the guille to coax the best of the these players, iam not so sure?

  9. why are ppl not talking of suso and mike ngoo?