Tuesday, 19 February, 2019

Sterling at heart of England World Cup bid despite goal drought

Raheem Sterling England GETTYRaheem Sterling The England forward has not scored at the World Cup to date
Cary Erickson | 11 July, 2018, 15:58

Somewhat unfairly, Sterling has been on the wrong end of criticism from some over his performances at the World Cup, where he is yet to score - despite finding the net 23 times for Manchester City last season.

Raheem Sterling paid tribute to England's fans after helping the team reach a "dream" World Cup semi-final.

The attacker was also a subject to social media abuse during the halftime break in the Three Lions' World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden.

For a stage as grand as the FIFA World Cup, a combination of elite footballers within a dynamic tactical system is often the easiest route to strike gold, as Didier Deschamps has managed to do with France, leading Les Bleus to successive finals in 2016 Euro and 2018 World Cup. "He's had a fantastic tournament so far and hopefully he can continue to have one in the next week".

"They are really good at set-pieces and their tall players are unsafe at corners".

"He is getting in all the right positions, but sometimes you look at Sterling and you think, if he didn't have that pace he'd be playing for Exeter or someone".

"I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is really fast and his combination with Harry Kane is really risky". "We don't fear England or anybody else". Full-back Ashley Young said the bond between the players has helped make the camp feel like a holiday.

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With the nation back home having worked itself into a World Cup frenzy, Southgate admits he has thoroughly enjoyed his two years in charge.

There is also much relief in the Croatia camp, which has now moved to Moscow after spending the last four weeks near Saint Petersburg, after Federation Internationale de Football Association made a decision to only warn defender Domagoj Vida for shouting "Glory to Ukraine", a highly-charged slogan in the current climate, in a post-match video that has gone viral in Russia.

Not many teams are, however, as gifted as the current French set-up, but there is no denying that all four teams which made it to the semi-finals in Russian Federation displayed a certain level of tactical aptitude ingrained in their game.

Playing alongside Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, Vida has been one of the best defenders at Russian Federation 2018 and Dalic said he would be key to Croatia's plans to keeping Kane out, just as they stopped Argentina's Lionel Messi and Christian Eriksen of Denmark.

"We have seen the way the country has got behind us and the happiness we are giving out and it is fantastic to be a part of".

Indeed. Croatia have players in their squad who England have to be wary of.