Time to lay off of Raheem Sterling

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Pep Guardiola pitched things just right.

“He made a mistake because he’s 23 years old.”

It was in reference to Raheem Sterling’s trip which ended up being given as a penalty by referee Viktor Kassai in Manchester City’s Champions League game against Shakhtar Donetsk.

The controversial incident was not of the player’s doing, however, social media and some online media outlets used it as yet another stick to proverbially beat him with. Continue reading

‘Farewell’ for Rooney is pathetic

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There was a time when earning an England cap really meant something.

It was the absolute pinnacle of every player’s career, and a responsibility that each took seriously.

The difficulty of consistently finding oneself in the senior set-up was obvious by the lack of players that had managed to amass anywhere close to 100 caps, let alone exceed that number.

In the recent past, the handing out of caps has become more and more contentious, but none more so that the most recent; a 120th appearance for Wayne Rooney, two years after his last game for his country. Continue reading

Harry Kane; Not just a target man

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Ever since Harry Kane burst onto the scene, he’s been labelled as a ‘traditional’ English centre-forward. A target man.

You know the type. Strong, aggressive, puts himself about a bit, gets on the end of crosses and decent hold up play.

All the ingredients, in fact, one needs to thrive in what is the most physically demanding football league in the world – the Premier League.

However, such a ‘one dimensional’ description does the Tottenham Hotspur man no real favours. Continue reading

Now is the team for Kane to deliver on the world stage


He may be the tournament’s leading goalscorer but Harry Kane has failed to make his full force felt on game so far in this World Cup – as England prepare to play what is easily their biggest tournament fixture since 1996, now is the time for the time’s captain to make his mark on the tournament and propel England to the final of international football’s biggest fixture.

Harry Kane’s World Cup tournament couldn’t have started better, two exceptional poacher’s finishes giving England a victory over Tunisia in a tie that seemed destined to finish all-square.

And whilst the Englishman then went on to net a hat-trick against Panama and another Continue reading

England show promise – but there are improvements to be made


England’s performance against Tunisia will have given England manager Gareth Southgate plenty to be pleased about, as well as highlight to him some of the apparent issues if the country are to finally make good on their obvious talents in a major tournament.

Here are three main take away points that he will have to consider from a thrilling game in Russia.

Attacking threat and dogged determination

Harry Kane’s last-minute goal also highlighted a team that were willing to keep going until the very end in search of victory. Continue reading

Premier League predictions

Roberto Firmino Liverpool

With this being the last weekend of Premier League action, every sides that will be keen to end their season with a win. Here are our predictions for the upcoming games!

Burnley vs AFC Bournemouth – home win

Burnley have been truly phenomenal this season, securing Europa League action against the odds, and will be hoping this game rounds off a fantastic campaign.

With Nick Pope (12 clean sheets) cutting an inspired figure at times this season, this could well be his last chance to make a late bid to become the England keeper come the summer’s World Cup in Russia. Continue reading

Premier League predictions


Check out our Premier League predictions ahead of the latest round of fixtures, here!

Brighton vs Manchester United – away win

Brighton may not be mathematically safe but they are more or less there and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they take their foot off the gas.

With United bringing the likes of Lukaku  (72 points) and Lingard (68 points) leading the front line, it’ll most likely be them who will finish Friday night with three points in the bag.

Stoke City vs Crystal Palace – away win

Stoke are fighting for their lives and Paul Lambert will be desperately hoping that Continue reading

Raheem Sterling, England’s next star

Much of the post International football window break in England has been regarding Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, who when asked by Manager Roy Hodgson, admitted to being tired, and as such, was rested for the uninspiring 1-0 away victory against Estonia. But being played every week by Liverpool, and a firm starter for England, do the stats back up Sterling as the next Three Lions star?

The short answer appears to be yes – in the Euro Fantasy League stats, Sterling emerges as the top ranked England midfielder, on 85 points from the season so far, only trailing Angel Di Maria, Nacer Chadli and Cesc Fabregas. And it doesn’t appear to be short term either. Last season, where Sterling spent some time out of the Reds set-up, he still managed to secure his place as 4th best England midfielder, behind only Steven Gerrard, Adam Lallana, and Adam Johnson – three players he has leapfrogged considerably this term.

As a result, it would appear one or both of Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson is looking to protect Sterling, at least in terms of his international appearances. Rodgers has been criticised for suggesting the winger needs a break, having played him for 120 minutes in the League Cup against Middlesbrough only last month, but in any case, clashes with San Marino and Estonia were never going to trouble England.

Sterling, as the stats above prove, will be key to England’s performances against the better sides in France 2016, and for Liverpool in the rest of the season, and the need to have England’s top midfielder will need to be balanced with a requirement to not burn him out, as has been suggested occurred with Michael Owen to name one.

All eyes will be on Rodgers in coming weeks as Liverpool face QPR, Real Madrid, Hull City, Swansea City, and Newcastle United, games that with the obvious exception of Madrid, could be ideal matches to rest England’s next top midfield star.