Raheem Sterling round-up: Liverpool ace backed by Premier League stars

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Whenever I fancy a nap, what usually follows is a few blissful hours of peace and quiet followed by the slow realisation that real life with all its tedious tasks and mundane frustrations must resume at some point.

Whenever Raheem Sterling fancies 40 winks, it's national news. Go figure. But then again I'm not a 19-year-old starlet from London blazing a trail at Liverpool with the hopes of a nation shackled around my dancing feet. I feel like I could have been, mind, given half the chance.

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Fate has conspired so that the great and good (and Robbie Savage) have stuck their oars into Sterling's decision to pull out of England's key Euro 2016 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday - and by key I mean not key in any which way because of the qualifying shake-up instigated by Michel Platini that has given every Dog and Duck XI the chance of making it through.

The backlash was so sizeable he was even lambasted by some amazed tabloids for driving his own car. Presumable because they were concerned he'd fall asleep at wheel, endangering every poor soul in the vicinity of Melwood.


The Liverpool whizzkid found plenty of support form his fellow pros in the aftermath of Sunday's game in Tallinn however. Rio Ferdinand, who once got so sleepy he missed eight months of football, could sympathise with his plight.

He tweeted: "Fair play to him. English players are normally too proud to do that unlike our foreign friends." If only he could leave his tweets at that he'd be in a lot less bother.

Frank Lampard followed suit and backed Sterling too: "I am actually quite upset, not with the manager as such, but that the aftermath has been a lot of people criticising Raheem Sterling - who is probably in the top two or three players in our country and we need him to be at his best - for making quite a brave decision. I think we need to get behind him. Whether it is right or wrong, I don't know, but we are all individuals and he made that call."

Gary Lineker, who knows a fair bit about being tired having sat opposite Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson for years, also backed the Liverpool protege. "Raheem Sterling is a teenager," he tweeted. ‘Teenagers do get tired and even moody. He's young, still developing, we should cut him some slack.’


However it wasn't all pats on the back and thumbs up for Sterling from within the world of football. Alan Shearer, whose name is enough to send the most acute insomniac into a deep slumber let alone his actual personality, surprisingly decided to lay into Sterling, falling back on those tired old comfortable cliches of every England cap counting. It's 2014 and no one cares anymore Alan, deal with it. 

"I genuinely have never heard something like that in my career. Certainly not in a squad I was involved in,' The former striker wrote in the Sun.

'If I had, as either captain of Newcastle or England, I'd have gone straight up to the player and said "are you sure?" and that's putting it mildly.'


It's probably worth noting at this point that Shearer was accused of threatening to pull out of England duty ahead of the 1998 World Cup for the tournament after he was charged over the incident with Neil Lennon during Newcastle's match against Leicester that year. That's commitment and dedication to a cause, Alan Shearer-style, alright.

Still, amidst all the storm, Sterling could at least count on his international manager Roy Hodgson to back him up. The wily old boss has pretty much seen it all in his career, and one wave of his expert wand would help shift the debate off the agenda and quell all the fuss. Yep, if there's one man you need in a crisis, it's ol' Cool Hand Roy.

"There is an awful lot going on in his head. Perhaps it's quite simply the season hasn't started quite as well for Liverpool as they wanted, he said.

"He's player who's always in the focus and spotlight for England and Liverpool, maybe that's had some effect. But I don't know, it's a theory."

Oh just forget it.

Raheem Sterling
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