25 Feb 2013

One-Trick Pony? LFC star admits he must improve in 2 key areas.

With the exceptions of Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard, Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling has more minutes on the pitch this season than any other Liverpool player, which is quite an achievement for someone who only turned 18 a few months ago. I'm sure most fans would concede that the youngster has gone off the boil recently, which probably explains his increased bench-duty, but Sterling is aware of his middling form, and he's vowed to work on improving his overall game.

In an interview with the Official Liverpool FC website today, Sterling - who's made 35 appearances so far this season - claimed that he doesn't feel any 'added pressure' for his place in the team, and pinpointed the two areas of his game he plans to improve. He said:

"I don't feel an added pressure. I can't try and overdo it. As a young player you've just got to work hard and I've got to play my normal game and hopefully that will work out.

"I've been in the gym a few times a week. Size isn't an issue as long as you can hold your own on the pitch. I want to work on my long-distance shooting and my decision making."

Former Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier also believes that Sterling's end product needs to improve, as he explained in a recent interview:

"Sterling could be a major player for the club in the future, but at the moment he just needs to be a little more composed, particularly in the final move of his game"

Sterling's meagre assists record is the most persuasive evidence that he needs to be more composed in the final third. The youngster has only two assists in 35 appearances this season, and whatever way you slice it, that's not enough to justify a regular starting place in the team.

The arrival of Philippe Coutinho has increased competition for places in Sterling's position, and the youngster seems resigned to becoming an impact sub for Liverpool. He mused:

"Hopefully I can get on the bench and then make an impact coming off the bench. Hopefully I can get a chance and take it"

In my view, Sterling is a bit of a one trick pony at the moment, and he's arguably been found out by defenders, but he has plenty of time to elevate his game and become a consistent threat on the field.

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  1. At the start of the season he'd get the ball and run at defenders using his fantastic pace, he was so positive it was a joy to watch. Now whenever he gets the ball he slows it down and just seems happy to keep the ball and go back towards his full back. Where has that positivity gone?? He needs to find that balance between when to get at the full back and when to play safe and keep the ball. Hopefully he'll get that with experience.

  2.  gotta agree jaimie hes gone off the boil...but that was kinda expected...im hoping he can learn a few tricks of cortino who is a similar type of player...id like to see him get in the box quicker when we attack

  3. Wow, a whole article to state the obvious.  

    "He's 18, faded after a bright start, but with hard work could be a sensation."  Would have made the same point with less effort.  Come on JK is this the best you can muster?

  4. I think he should be moved into the middle and try to emulate the young Michael Owen. 

    Like Owen, his pace is frightening and, with the two goals he's scored this season, we have seen how he can run defenders ragged and he knows where the goal is (see his 5 goal haul last season in the U18 cup thing).

  5. Wondering how much the legal situation could be affecting him.

    Also proves that BR def played him too much at the beginning of the season along with Joe Allen.

    Those two have been completely burnt out since the end of December.

  6. well he's signed for the long term so he can develop off the bench for the next year or two

  7. I think he has done fantastic for us this season, he has played too many games for liverpool due to the bad transfer policy in the summer. Hopefully he can be a impact sub over the remaining 11 games and then have a great under 21 tournament for England and that will set him up nicely to kick on next season.

  8. Tonight you refer to Sterling as a "one trick pony"and also say"I'm sure most fans would concede that the youngster has gone of the boil recently" - yet on 21/2/13 you said "Rodgers has (IMO)bottled it" and add "In my view, it would've been better to start Sterling". Personally i believe Rodgers got it right leaving Sterling on the bench against Zenit. Tonight i watched the under 21s and Sterling i felt was quite poor, which convinces me more this manager knows what he's doing.I'm interested in how you felt he performed tonight Jaimie. Teixeira looks more ready now to me,he had an excellent game. Suso i also felt was poor.                        

  9. Rodgers played Joe Allen too much at the beginning of the season? Seriously,he's a fully fledged professional and international player... proves nothing!

  10. Considering the drop off in form for Allen and Sterling, I think my argument that they played too much in the beginning of the season has some merit.

    The other argument could be that we liked what we saw in the early part of the season and expectations grew to the point where the players have not been able to meet those expectations.

    Either way, fatigue is still a worthwhile reason.

  11. I don't question Sterling being played too much,but would suggest it was a case of needs must,however l would expect Allen to play at least 30 games a season.Mental fatigue maybe, but most certainly not physical at this stage of the season. Rodgers knows Allens capabilities.

  12. Sterling is a great future talent, but reminds me so much of Walcott. When Walcott was a few years younger he was so fast, and so good out wide, yet had no end product, this is the same for Sterling. His skills are great, just doesn`t score enough. He is very very young, so it is only natural that he isn`t 100% yet, and I strongly feel in a few years time he will be a awesome player for us, he just needs time. The fact he isn`t 100% yet shouldn`t be deemed bad, and he shouldn`t be treated in a negative way, Walcott has come into his own this year, and I`m sure if no one puts too much pressure on sterling he will too.

  13. I think he should too, but not in the first team, but in the ressies, and not for the same reasons. I feel his problem is he doesn`t know where the goal is enough. Playing on the left of the front three, you should be scoring at least 10 goals in a season, he wasn`t going to get even half of that, which is understandable due to his age, hence why I think a spell in the middle for the ressies will help him improve that side of things.

  14. Pony? I thought this article was going to be about Andy Carroll... ;-)

    Joke aside, Sterling is a raw talent, he gives us excitement, and over the years he will surely get better. No 18 year old player has come in and banged in goals since Owen, so we are asking a lot from Sterling. It will be interesting to see him when he is around 21...

  15. The biggest one trick pony is downing but it always seems to work for him 

  16. Had we had the squad we have now at the start of the season, Raheem wouldn't have played as many matches. Rodgers said so in September. For a seventeen-year-old he's shown a lot of talent and a total lack of fear after being thrown in at the deep end and he still has so much time to develop. He's got a good head on his shoulders and is willing to bide his time. He'll be a regular starter for long enough in a year or two.

  17. He's a kid and was obviously playing too much before, just as happened with Insua a few years back.

    However, even with his drastic dip in confidence and form, and Downing's rise in confidence and form, the kid still remains the more threatening player in my eyes. 

    I do want to see more of Coutinho and Assaidi in those forward roles alongside Suarez and Sturridge though.

  18. He just needs confidence and time, and timing!

    But BR for the win! Time to step up, no more mistakes, consistent team set ups with potency up front, control in the mid and solidity at the back. Impact substitutes AT THE RIGHT TIME, so I say again TIMING!!!

    BR for the wins! Strong finish to the season! WIN WIN WIN, it's all they must do! Win!

    COME ON BR, Come on LFC, COME on STevie! Get in there Raheem!


  19. Didn't he play against Everton in that role at some point during the game? I kinda remember him playing through the middle and causing all sorts of problems. 

  20. i watched it aswell and couldnt agree more... suso and sterling were poor.... teixeira was class strong on the ball great feet and he put a shift in getting forward and bombing back when we lost the ball after going down to 10 men.... showed suso and sterling what they should be doing.....would like to see him get a chance before suso and sterling get another myself.... also im not a fan of shelvey but he played really well aswell and they were very unlucky to lose to stuffy utd mishit shot in the 93rd minute