After his performance in the opening Premier League match, Chelsea forward Raheem Sterling has drawn harsh criticism.
With a 1-1 draw against Liverpool at home to start the new league campaign, the Blues impressed many of their fans with their level of play in Mauricio Pochettino’s debut game as manager.
Pochettino’s decision to change the back four from preseason, which had a frontline of Raheem Sterling and Carney Chukwuemeka behind Nicolas Jackson, surprised everyone.
The 28-year-old Sterling’s performance in an offensive capacity versus Liverpool gave us reason for optimism. He worked exceptionally well in wide spaces to connect with right-wing-back Reece James.
The England international is still facing some fierce detractors, though.
Craig Burley, an ESPN commentator, was blunt in evaluating Sterling following his performance against Liverpool.
“I think he’s absolutely lost it now in the final third,” Burley said to ESPN.
Also later in the same video, Steve Nicol said: “My goodness, the guy (Sterling) has gone down a cliff in the last 18 months.”
Although Sterling had a somewhat quiet preseason, the effort and application he showed against Liverpool looked far more indicative of the player he can be.
With the ball at his feet, the speedster displayed some excellent moments, including a few deft passes and flashes of cleverness.
Sterling, who was acquired from Manchester City last summer for £50 million (Daily Mail), is now a senior member of a very youthful and inexperienced team. It would be fantastic to see him take the initiative by consistently putting up strong performances.