Last year, shortly after the English team arrived home from Brazil, like a bemused dad launching into a verbal ‘in my day’ tirade, Alan Shearer spoke about the ‘overpaid,’ ‘too-much-too-young’ culture of club football.
Scoring 30 goals in 63 international games, Shearer is one of the greatest English players of all time, and someone deserving of our attention, even he is delivering a gloomy, all too obvious sermon.
The ex Newcastle and Blackburn favourite said, “They’re paid too much too young, not enough hunger, without a doubt… being put on a pedestal too quickly. ‘Put all those together and it’s the reason why we put in another poor performance at a World Cup. I don’t see it changing at the next tournament. I hope I’m wrong.”
Amen, Reverend Shearer, Amen,
After Raheem Sterling recently rejected a contract worth £100,000 a week, a few eyebrows were raised. Declaring his desire to acquire silverware and not ridiculous wealth, the 20-year-old England winger will address contractual matters once the domestic season comes to an end.
Jumping on the bandwagon of condemnation, Mark Lawrenson, the Alan Partridge of football punditry, had this to say; “He (Sterling) has come a long way in a very short period of time and he needs to remember that a little bit. He’s 20 and not going to Real Madrid or Barcelona or Paris St-Germain. He’s not at that level and he has a lot of work to do. He’s a very good and promising player so you hope he will vastly improve, but he’s at the right club now and there’s no bias from me as a former Liverpool player. The club have looked after him extremely well.”
Brendan Rodgers is very much a man’s man, and his role in helping Sterling develop as a player must not be overlooked. During this recent interview, unwisely, the pacey winger said it was “quite flattering” to be linked with Arsenal, a team the Reds visit this weekend. This remark must have hurt the Liverpool boss, a man who has placed nothing but faith in such a young talent.
Refuting claims that he is a “money-grabbing 20-year-old,” Sterling’s future is now a constant source of banal speculation. Will he move to Manchester City, or Arsenal, or Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich, or will he do something utterly unthinkable… stay at a club where fans and staff alike truly respect him?
Still mourning over the loss of Luis Suarez, Liverpool can ill afford to lose another quality player this year. A well rehearsed interview, Sterling’s intent was clear; label himself as the innocent party in a misunderstanding not of his making.
Although the Jamaican-born footballer said the current ‘hold up’ has nothing to do with currency, more specifically, sterling, Liverpool fans know it has everything to do with sterling, quite literally. Come on, Raheem, you turn down £100,000 a week, demand more cash, then say it has nothing to do with money, just silverware and burning passion.
I’ve heard more persuasive rhetoric on Fox News.
Main Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images