Wayne Rooney stayed in the side despite a dismal and grossly over-rated performance against Russia. England did win 2-1 but many of the starting performances flattered to deceive with two goals from subs helping England record a much needed 2-1 victory over Wales to help them move closer to qualification on four points. A draw now next week against Slovakia will probably be enough to get them through to the next stage.
One of the most notable issues with the team was Raheem Sterling who was terrible. Sterling was poor against Russia also, failing to really get at the Russian backline or beat his man and when on ocassion he did, he often failed to muster a decent final ball, instead giving it away or back tracking. It was ineffective and the same was true versus Wales.
In context Sterling was arguably lucky to be in the squad after a very lacklustre start to life in Manchester following a £50 million move. Sterling made almost no impact and at that price was arguably one of the worst signings of last season. This form has been carried into the Euros after another bad performance which saw him eventually given the hook by manager Roy Hodgson.
Sterling completed just 67% of his passes against Wales and he also made no key passes which is terrible for a winger who should be creating dangerous situations. At the same time he didn’t beat his man once! And this is primarily what he’s in the team to do, to be a dangerous outlet down the flank with his pace and skill.
This is terrible and whilst Online Soccer Betting may have England at likely to beat Slovakia and go through, Sterling remains a serious issue. On the one hand he has pace and can at times be dangerous but on the other he’s not producing any end product. It might be better served for England to start with Adam Lallana on the left with Daniel Sturridge coming in from the right and Jamie Vardy up top. This would be bold but would mean Sterling on the bench. Whilst Sturridge doesn’t get back much, netiher does Sterling and we can count on Lallana to do some defensive work on the left as he is an industrious player.
For now Sterling’s stock has dropped significantly. He’s failed to produce a notable performance for England or City for some time now, with Pep Guardiola probably scratching his head wondering why the club paid so much money for this player.