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Raheem Sterling's Performance Against Sweden Is Causing Disputes Between Fans And Experts

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Raheem Sterling's Performance Against Sweden Is Causing Disputes Between Fans And Experts

This England team, the one that has actually reached a semi-final of the World Cup, is extremely different to all the ones that failed since 1990.

In the twenty-eight years that have passed since England last got to a World Cup semi-final, it is difficult to think of a group of players that so reflected the nation and were so humble, so self-deprecating and so, well, not arseholes.

There's Harry Maguire, who travelled to Euro 2016 with his mates to support the team, there's Keiran Trippier, who's Dad is peak embarrassing and covers the house in England flags even when the council tell him not to.

Even the captain, Harry Kane, one of the best paid and most famous footballers in the country, is a bloke who's going out with the same girl he was seeing in secondary school.

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There is one exception, however, in the eyes of many fans: Raheem Sterling. The tabloid campaign against Sterling has been covered widely and called out for allegations of racial bias - to which the best rebuttal came from Sterling himself, in his amazing article in the Players' Tribune.

On the field, there is a huge debate about whether Sterling should keep his place in the squad. He was bottom of both the BBC and The Guardian's player ratings yesterday and missed a few chances - he's now not scored for England in over two and a half years and only has two goals from 42 appearances.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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Many England fans on Twitter were calling for him to be dropped: "Raheem Sterling should be dropped. It's not rocket science," wrote one, "Raheem Sterling needs to be dropped btw. He's had enough chances, it's critical now," wrote another and "England reaches the Semi-finals.. Awesome!! But Raheem Sterling needs to be dropped.. We have a strong bench, utilise it.. Vardy is quick and will do better in goal scoring situations or even Rashford!! #Dropsterling" wrote a third.

While the Twitter mood was pointing in one direction, almost all football experts were saying the exact opposite.


He was responding to a tweet from The Times' Chief Sports Writer Matt Dickinson, who posted "Sterling comfortably (and depressingly) bottom of the BBC player rater - again."

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"They did all watch it, right? Now imagine watching it again without his running, trying to stretch Sweden, create something out of nothing."

Henry Winter, one of the most respected football journalists in England, also chimed in, writing: "Lot of talk about Raheem Sterling.

"So let's talk about the fact that Sterling never hid, that he never stopped running, that he's a class act with many gifts as he's showed countless times in recent years. Not his best game against #swe but he remains an important player for #eng."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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So the choice is clear: if football experts - the guys who have played and the guys who watch the games for a living - are to be believed, then Sterling keeps his place.

If Dave from Mansfield is to to be believed, he doesn't. I suspect I know which group Gareth Southgate is likely to pay more attention to.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Russia 2018, England, World Cup, Raheem Sterling, Football News, World Cup news, Sweden

Mike Wood
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