30 March 2012

Raheem Sterling's enigma

Raheem Sterling must not be ask to wait for too long. (Photo REUTERS)

I'm sure many of you could remember vividly how great was the reception given to Kenny Dalglish when he first introduced a batch of young players into the squad, especially those who were trained with the Liverpool FC Academy.

This was on the back of some serious criticism towards the former manager who seems to neglect the pool of talents we have at our own academy, yet daringly acquiring some foreign players who were evidently remembered more as `expensive' rather than `successful'. 

In introducing the trainees, Dalglish was seen as making the best decision. Why bothered to burden the club with all the costs incurred of having a training unit for the youngster but no one came out of the system into the First Team? Rafa Benitez had a real dilemma in answering the simple question. 'Neglect' was the bullet send to Rafa's management.

Obviously, to pluck our own youngster means we can mould the player in accordance with the values and tactical philosophy adhere within the club. The investment for them would be a lot cheaper (if they were to graduate to the First Team) than to buy the existing players from other club and also, lessen the risk of the player failed to emulate his form from the previous club to LFC. We have seen so many examples of such high profile and expensive players.

That's why with the introduction of Jay Spearing, Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan, Danny Wilson and Martin Kelly, for example, Dalglish was hailed as the true Liverpool manager because he shows that he truly believe in the system practised by the club. 

The most recent one and became a speculative stories for some UK media a week ago was Raheem Sterling. His introduction to the world of Kops at the 85th minutes in the drab game were touted as `exciting' and `full of promise'. No pun intended. As positive as it can be, all of us wishes he would be our next star, probably to play side by side with Luis Suarez who needs a real striking partner.

Raheem joined the LFC Academy from Queens Park Rangers in February 2010, and the hype surrounding the player intensified when he scored five of his side's goals in a 9-0 FA Youth Cup win shortly after his arrival at Anfield.

Apparently the UK media did their best to ``stir a quiet valley'' by telling us as if Raheem is on the verge of leaving LFC simply because the club didn't fulfilled the promises to him in getting him into the First Team this season. However, there is no truth in it. In fact, Raheem knows it better. He is fully in touch with the manager. He knows that there is a development plan for him. Dalglish was quoted as saying that the club will treat him accordingly as a professional player and won't rush him.

The short introduction of Raheem in the Wigan's match, managed to ignite the beliefs among the down-spirited fans after a lousy run against a lowly teams the last couple of weeks. It won't hurt if Dalglish were to send Raheem again for the tough game against a resurging Newcastle this Sunday. We need to win the points and to win the spirit back among the fans. YNWA!

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