5 Apr 2014

Hamann: Forget SAS - 'Outstanding' £20m star is now LFC's 'best player'. Agree...?

Liverpool attacker Raheem Sterling continues to perform well for the Reds this season, and after a series of excellent performances, he's probably a leading contender for the 'Young Player of the Year' award. The hype is slowly getting out of control again, though, and Reds legend Dietmar Hamann is the latest ex-Red to heap grossly effusive praise on the 19-year old.

Speaking to the Daily Star last night, Hamann hailed Sterling's form over the last four months as 'unbelievable', and insisted that 'he's been Liverpool best player'. He further enthused:

"He is a really outstanding talent and...is the best winger in the Premier League at the moment. You get a buzz when he gets the ball. His pace and his body strength, decision-making and overall game is absolutely outstanding."

Sterling - who, according to John Aldridge, is worth £20m - is playing well, but this is over the top (IMO). If he is 'unbelievable'; 'Absolutely outstanding', and Liverpool's 'best player', where does he go from here? How do you improve on that?!

Sterling is good, but he's not that good, and he arguably isn't Liverpool's best player over the last four months. In terms of specific, measurable impact on the team, Suarez and Sturridge are (IMO) streets ahead, as are Steven Gerrard, and Martin Skrtel.

Take any of those four players out of the team this year and Liverpool's results would look a lot different. Take out Sterling, and nothing much changes. That's the difference. He has benefited from the consistently good form of the team, but Sterling is not really a game-changer.

Suarez and Sturridge, especially, are the key architects of LFC's title charge. Take away their goals and the Reds would probably be outside the top four right now. If SAS were injured, would Sterling step-up to the plate and pick up the slack? Doubtful.

That's okay, though, as he shouldn't be expected to do that at the age of 19, but the constant overwrought eulogising makes it sound like he is a game-changer. For me, it's pointless and counter-productive, and the last thing today's pampered, overpaid young players need is endless fawning ego massage.

Speaking to Sky Sports last month, John Barnes admitted that he's been 'very impressed' with Sterling's form over the 'last six weeks', but urged people not to put 'too much pressure' on the 19-year old. He observed:

"I think his [Sterling's] England career started too soon. He got into it very early and it affected...his performances. He's a young player, so I would still expect some issues with consistency. We have to allow for a dip in form, but at the moment he's been as good as anyone in the country."

Sterling still has a long way to go. He's in a purple patch of form at the moment, but he needs to maintain consistent form over a couple of seasons at least, not just 3-4 months.



  1. Forget SAS, it's all about SASASASAS = sturidge/Suarez/sterling/skrtel/stevie

  2. Best? No. That would put him up there with the top 3 in the world.

    But in terms of skill, and development he certainly has the potential to be a great. The difference between him now and at the beginning of the season is almost night and day - he's improved in almost every area - physicality, decision making, finishing, defense, crossing, vision - all have significantly improved - plus he's fast as lightning. He isn't a finished product by any means, but every day closer and closer - if he can iron out the remaining kinks, add a few tricks to his repetoire, he could easily become a 50m player within a few years (if he continues to develop at his current pace).

  3. Isn't it immoral to get someone drunk before you're about to interview them? Do you think they even took the flask from Didi when he started to speak?

  4. Yes. Lets get rid of the 'LEADING CONTENDER fOR tHE YOUNG PLAYER AWARD" He's not worth the hype at all.

  5. Thought it'd been a while since you banged this over hype drum. Our young players are developing perfectly and I seriously doubt that comments from an ex player or two is going to have a detrimental effect on sterling's development. Personally I felt his performances against spurs and arsenal thus season were game changing and his motm awards in these games would back this up. Player development is of no concern to me at the moment as I feel we have the best manager in the league to deal with that. Which he is. Very well

  6. Didi's got a little carried away there; I daresay he needs a strong sedative. It's clearly wrong to single any player out as Liverpool's 'best', I certainly couldn't do it. The team is clearly greater than it's constituent parts. If anyone is worthy of gag-inducing hyperbolic over-praise then it should be Rodgers for developing a system that makes every player as important as the next, and instilling an ethos that is so clear to this group of players that it seems to be dragging the best out of all of them. Sterling has played his part in that, no question, and he's developing nicely, clearly aided by the fluidity with which we attack. But he's one cog in a very very well oiled machine. That's the really satisfying thing about our season, whatever happens now.

  7. I think the point about taking out Suarez and Sturridge while proving how invaluable they are is also a bit flawed because it would need whoever is doing the comparison to also take out other clubs' top 2 goalscorers for us to know where we will be in terms of league position.

    For instance if we take out every premier league club's top 2 scorers then Gerrard will be the league top scorer, if top 3 is taken out then Skrtel and Sterling will be the top scorers. Taking out Skrtel means the other clubs also have to take out their top defender too.

    This is obviously oversimplifications because if we didn't have our top 2 scorers we would have some other strikers to score us the goals but maybe not as many as our present 2 but the same could be said of all the other clubs too.

    Sterling is doing quite well for a player of his age and has made a lot of effort to turn around whatever was distracting him so I think he deserves a pat on the back for that. Having said that I can see where you are coming from so I guess its just 2 different ways of supporting our team.
    The irony for me though is you probably finally see things the same way Rafa did because Gerrard is on record stating that Rafa was not into compliments even after good games.