YOUNG talent Raheem Sterling, 19, hit a nerve with a lot of England football fans this weekend after he proclaimed to England boss Roy Hodgson that he was “too tired” to start against Estonia on Sunday. This caused an outcry from both football fans, critics and even football legends including former England striker Alan Shearer, who claimed that a 19-year-old professional footballer should not be complaining of tiredness, and that he had never heard anything of the sort in his football career. Subsequently, Sterling was dropped to the bench and replaced in the starting 11 by fellow Liverpool team mate, Adam Lallana, until being brought on as a substitute for another club mate Jordan Henderson.
Sterling issued an apology for his fatigue stating that he was “only human” and criticism aside, there were a lot of football professionals who sided with Sterling including Queens Park Rangers player Rio Ferdinand and former England star Gary Lineker, who mentioned that he was only a young player who had just started to make a name for himself in the Premier League. It could be the fact that he wasn’t mentally prepared for the tie with Estonia as opposed to physically, as his game time had more than doubled since last year. He regularly features in Brendan Rodgers’ starting line-up as well as having big expectations from both Liverpool and England fans, which is a lot of pressure for such a young player. After being brought on to the pitch, Sterling was impressive and showed incredible pace and skill – it was hard to believe he was fatigued! He then earned a crucial free kick in the 73rd minute, which led England to their third victory in the European Qualifiers as Wayne Rooney scored the winning goal.