. . .

Raheem Sterling briljerade under den första halvan av säsongen. Talangen har dock hamnat i en rejäl formsvacka – och man kan diskutera varför. Enligt Brendan Rodgers beror formsvackan snarare på att Sterling är sliten än att han har fått hybris, vilket annars ju inte är helt ovanligt att så unga genombrottsmän får.

”This is a kid we’re talking about, so we have to take a wee step back. It is so mentally and physically draining, this league. It hurts experienced professionals and this boy has stepped up from the academy, played football and earned a contract off that. We have to nurture that and, at times, he has to have the mentality to keep learning. I was talking to him the other day about this. If he didn’t kick another ball this season, he’s had a good one. But what you are seeing now is more tiredness of the legs when before he could go up to people and take them on. That zip has gone and it’s down to fatigue. Was that to be expected? Yes it was,” sa Rodgers.

Rodgers fortsatte: ”He will have experienced that before, but not in the limelight nationally. He has made such an impact that everybody is looking at him now, of course. But he started his career at first-team level way before many get the opportunity. What he has done since he stepped on to the pitch against Bayer Leverkusen in a friendly to making his debut as a 17-year-old against Manchester City has been phenomenal. I dare you to look around Europe and tell me about a 17-year-old who has made such an impact in one of the big leagues. There aren’t many.”