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Ex-England Stars Rally Around Raheem Sterling After Criticism

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Raheem Sterling has had an interesting few months outside of participating deep into the 2018 World Cup.

The agenda that it seems like certain tabloids have had against the Englishman came to a head prior to the beginning of the tournament, as pundits and fans alike accused those outlets of unfairly singling him out, and among other things, racism.

Sterling set sail for Russia as part of the England squad with a groundswell of support as a result.

His performances have been a major talking point of the tournament so far though, despite England’s success thus far in reaching the semi finals. The winger has been a nuisance for opponents, making non-stop runs, playing a part in numerous attacks, but his finishing has left a lot to be desired (to be hyper-critical, some decision making also, though that comes with the territory for any attacker).

These often high-profile moments amongst other important contributions have led to Sterling frequently being ranked bottom of the BBC’s player rating system by fans, and being on the receiving end of criticism, some of which Gary Neville has called disgusting.

“The actual treatment at half-time of [Sterling] across social media was absolutely disgusting, and isn’t representative of the performance he put in”, he said on ITV.

“To run in-behind Granqvist all that time, he kept getting in and getting in. OK, we didn’t have the cherry on the cake, the goal, where all of a sudden you’re a hero, but it was a brilliant performance.”
It was a sentiment that former England captain David Beckham echoed, though his logic came from more of a patriotic place than a analytical one.
“Haven’t seen this [criticism] but whatever it is it’s wrong,” Beckham posted on Instagram. “We are in the semi final of a World Cup.”
“Every player deserves to be applauded. We as a country are united and behind the team.”
Liverpool hero Robbie Fowler joined the two United legends in praising the 23-year-old.

The Manchester City forward is likely to start against Croatia on Wednesday, and will be closely watched by all sides of the debate.

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Author: Chris Kelleher

Student whose interests lie in sports ranging from Darts to MMA, with the likes of Golf, Boxing and Soccer in between. Closet wrestling fan and a lover of sports psychology and stiff jabs.