Sterling the star of Rodgers’ Liverpool revival

COMMENT: The Anfield manager’s decision to play the England international as a lone striker has been vindicated by the 20-year-old’s rich vein of form in recent weeks

  • vindicate – dibuktikan
  • vein – bakat, perangai, urat darah halus

By Peter O’Rourke at Anfield

Has Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers found Raheem Sterling’s best position?

The England international, deployed largely as a wide man by Liverpool previously, turned in another electrifying performance in the 1-1 draw with Chelsea and is looking at home in a lone striker’s role.

  • deploy -disebarkan
  • electrifying – menggemparkan, menimbulkan listrik

Sterling was Liverpool’s savior in the League Cup semi-final first leg at Anfield as he scored a superb solo effort in the second half to cancel out Eden Hazard’s first half penalty to set up a mouthwatering clash at Stamford Bridge.

  • savior – penyelamat
  • mouthwatering – smelling, looking, or sounding delicious.

Question marks were raised when Rodgers employed Sterling in a central attacking role in last month’s defeat to Manchester United, but now it looks like a masterstroke.

  • mark – menandai
  • employ – memperkerjakan
  • masterstroke -an outstandingly skillful and opportune act; a very clever move, pukulan yg jitu, akal yg sempurna

 

Sterling had his chances in that defeat to United at Old Trafford, but he could not find a way past an inspired David De Gea, leading to criticism of Rodgers and his decision to deploy the 20-year-old out of position.


You cannot fail but see similarities between Thierry Henry and Sterling in that the Frenchman was transformed from a winger to a striker by Arsene Wenger when he arrived at Arsenal, and became one of the deadliest forwards in world football.

Rodgers will be hoping for something similar to the success Wenger had with Henry, and early impressions are that Sterling is enjoying his new role in the side.

Rodgers was forced into playing Sterling in his new role due to the failings of his other strikers at Anfield. Summer signings Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert have struggled for form and Fabio Borini looked destined to leave the club before the season started, only for a move to Sunderland to fall through.

In his second game playing as the lone attacker in Liverpool’s new-look formation Sterling scored twice against Bournemouth and he has not looked back. Rodgers afforded his star man a break as his Liverpool side took on Sunderland recently, but his form has shown no signs of letting up since his return.

The England international’s pace and trickery makes him a nightmare for all central defenders he takes on and he has been the catalyst for Liverpool’s improved form of late.

  • pace – cepat
  • trickery – tipu daya

Gary Cahill has been one of the Premier League’s best defenders this season, but he will not have had many stiffer tasks than he did against Sterling.

Despite being dominated by Chelsea’s giants, Sterling never shied away from getting on the ball and the goal was no more than he deserved for his efforts.

The way Sterling turned and drove through a group of Chelsea defenders before firing in low from just inside the area in the second half brought Anfield. It gave the home fans a glimpse of what the future might hold for the youngster.

Since the formation change at Old Trafford Liverpool are unbeaten in nine games in all competitions and Sterling has been central to that run with his willing running up front opening up spaces for the likes of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana to cause danger between midfield and attack.

Sterling’s tally of four goals in his last seven outings is testament to the fact that the 20-year-old is thriving in the responsibility of spearheading Liverpool’s side from the front.

  • tally – catatan perhitungan
  • outing – a trip taken for pleasure, especially one lasting a day or less
  • testament – something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality.
  • thriving – yg berkembang
  • spearheading – ujung tombak

Liverpool fans are relishing the prospect of seeing Sterling paired with Daniel Sturridge up front when he returns to fitness and if the pair can form a strike partnership it could finally help the club move on from the loss of Luis Suarez.

  • relishing – menikmati
  • move on

The change of role is sure to have made England boss Roy Hodgson sit up and take note. Recent England squads have been bereft of prolific goalscorers with the exception of Wayne Rooney, who has recently been deployed in a midfield role by Louis van Gaal.

  • bereft – kehilangan
  • prolific – subur
  • deployed – menyebar

Sterling is by no means the finished article as a striker. His finishing still lacks some composure as was illustrated at times against Chelsea.

but if he does eventually end up staying in a striking role and enjoying the success Henry did at Arsenal when he changed role it could to be the making of Rodgers and Sterling.

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