World Cup 2022: ‘He looks a little lost’ – should England stick with Raheem Sterling?

MOTD2 Analysis

We’ve been here before. before the big tournament There was a heated debate over whether Raheem Does Sterling deserve his place in the England squad?

Although his record at international level and major finals remains impressive. But his club’s form with Chelsea hasn’t caused him much trouble for the next two weeks at the World Cup.

Sterling has scored twice in the Champions League since the start of September. But after failing to shoot during Sunday’s defeat by Arsenal He has now gone 596 minutes without a Premier League goal or assist dating back to the end of August.

Raheem Sterling hits Dinamo Zagreb
Sterling scores against Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday, he has three goals and two assists for Chelsea in 18 Premier League and Champions League games this season.

It hardly helps that he doesn’t have a stable role either. Whether it’s wing-back or wing-back or striker Graham Potter, the Blues manager is unsure how to get the best out of the 27-year-old. Or even what is his best position?

“I still rate Raheem very high. But he looks a little defeated.” Former England defender Micah Richards. Says who watched Sterling against the Gunners for MOTD2.

“It’s like he’s a bit annoyed in terms of Chelsea’s outfit and tactically, I don’t know what they want him to do.”

A big move – then a new manager.

Thomas Tuchel and Raheem Sterling
Tuchel said “We have signed our top priority” after Chelsea sealed the deal for Sterling, he was sacked 54 days later.

Losing his way was not the situation Sterling expected when he plotted a £50million switch from Manchester City to Stamford Bridge in July.

Sterling was followed by Barcelona, ​​Real Madrid and Bayern Munich but was clearly impressed. By the vision of the manager at the time, Thomas Tuchel and the role he has assigned for him on his team too.

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less than two months later Tuchel has history. Potter is now planning the future of Chelsea. But his frequent adjustments to plans and tactics suggest that he is unsure of the best way to employ multiple members of his new team. including sterling

“Raheem joins another top club at Chelsea and it seems like the perfect move for him,” Richards added. “But then they changed the manager and we all saw the change that followed.

“After the manager signed you and said you were their priority. Just like Tuchel did with Sterling. It must be disappointing when a new manager comes in and wants to use you in a different way.”

“Every player needs stability. I think he’s in good hands with Potter. let’s make it clear But now it is his job to bring out the best from Sterling.”

‘Get Sterling with the ball near the goal’

Graphic showing Chelsea's starting XI against Arsenal: Mendy, Azpilicueta, Chalobah, Thiago Silva, Cucurella, Loftus-Cheek, Jorginho, Sterling, Havertz, Mount, Havertz, Aubameyang.
Sterling played on the right wing in the game against Arsenal. but only touched 2 times in the Gunners area

Sterling has scored 131 goals in 339 games for City, his trademark which sees him arrive to finish the ball at the back post.

He has had much less performance since joining Chelsea – possibly because he has far fewer chances in front of goal.

Man City 2021-22 Chelsea 2022-23
40.1 minute by minute 56.5
49% on target % 39%
22.8% % conversion 16.7%
175.9 minutes per goal 339

“The reason he is so effective at City. because he is part of a working system,” Richards explains. “He knows the system well. And he’s adapted because the runs he does are exactly what the team needs.

“City play the same way. With 70-80% of possession every week, he is now in a team in transition after changing managers. And it seems to change form all the time.”

“The whole team is still figuring out how to play under Potter, so Sterling isn’t the only one who has to do that.

“Using him in different positions didn’t help at all Ideally, I’d like to see him grow taller and wider on the pitch. It should be on the left side so he can go either inside or outside. when he ran into the penalty area

“But what do you call his role? You want him to get the ball near the goal. It wasn’t in his own second half that he had to run 60 or 70 yards to get a shot at.

“For City, he always picked up the ball from the opposite side. when he ran into the area He knew the ball was coming because of the players they had on the team provided.

“That’s not the case playing for Chelsea – he has to build things on his own.”

Should he start with Iran?

Raheem Sterling celebrates his goal for England against Croatia at Euro 2020.
Sterling scored three goals at Euro 2020 against Croatia, Czech Republic and Germany, two of which proved winners as England reached the final.

Sterling also had a tough time ahead of the European Championships last year. When his goals are gone for City And he found himself having to sit on the bench for their biggest game.

However, Southgate remained loyal. And Sterling rewarded him with three goals to help England reach the final. and received a place in the team of the competition as well

Will the Master of the Three Lions do the same this time? When he picks a side to face Iran in the opening game in Qatar on 21 November?

“You definitely want your players to be in form, but I think Gareth will stick with him this time as well. And I can understand why after what he did for him in the past,” Richards said.

“Every season he hasn’t played very well. But at least he can play a lot. Which is what he wants when he leaves City.

“I will have him start against Iran as well. As part of an offensive line that includes Bukayo Saka and Harry Kane, he deserves that faith. after what he had done for England in the past

“Let’s see how he does in the first game. and evaluated thereafter If he does nothing It might be time to rotate.”

“But we’ve seen before how Raheem reacts after basically being disqualified for England. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see him remind everyone how good he is.”

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