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SF2: Croatia v England

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Would anyone drop Sterling for Rashford/Vardy?

Seems to be the only real talking point.
I feel like the wind has gone out of the anti-Sterling sails a bit. The attack was a mess when Vardy came on against Colombia and neither he nor Rashford were very good against Belgium.

Rashford's missed chance might have been a turning point- that goes in and England get a nightmare draw while the toxic media campaign against one of their best players gathers pace.
 

BoyBrumby

Englishman
Would anyone drop Sterling for Rashford/Vardy?

Seems to be the only real talking point.
Sterling (in this world cup at least) has been a peculiar combination of some typically English qualities (willing runner, puts in a shift, occupies defenders) and some very un-yeoman virtues (ability to take players on at speed, good spatial awareness).

I think even his staunchest advocate wouldn't try to argue everything he's attempted has come off (or that's the polite version), but he's probably still bringing more to the table than any of the alternatives would.

If he can add the final ball to his repertoire (that "if" is undeniably carrying a lot of weight in that sentence) his case would be unanswerable.

The tl;dr version: no.
 

wpdavid

International Coach
I feel like the wind has gone out of the anti-Sterling sails a bit. The attack was a mess when Vardy came on against Colombia and neither he nor Rashford were very good against Belgium.

Rashford's missed chance might have been a turning point- that goes in and England get a nightmare draw while the toxic media campaign against one of their best players gathers pace.
Sounds fair. I've read enough from people who know more than I do about what Sterling brings to the side to be persuaded that we should stick with him. I still don't particularly rate him though.
 

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I'm clearly out of the loop here.
If Rashford had scored against Belgium, most people and newspapers would have wanted him to replace Sterling against Japan, escalating the (already pretty severe) abuse targeted at Sterling. But Rashford missed and the abuse has leveled off, resulting in a backlash against it from TV pundits and ex-players.
 
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S.Kennedy

International Vice-Captain
Sterling caused a fair bit of chaos in the Swedish defence at times. He is basically doing everything right but scoring, so I'd certainly keep him in the starting eleven.
 

Howe_zat

Audio File
If Rashford had scored against Belgium, most people and newspapers would have wanted him to replace Sterling against Japan, escalating the (already pretty severe) abuse targeted at Sterling. But Rashford missed and the abuse has leveled off, resulting in a backlash against it from TV pundits and ex-players.
Yeah I mean, I didn't know he was receiving 'abuse' from the rags as opposed to just having his place questioned for performance
 

duffer

Hall of Fame Member
I've made peace with England winning this whole thing.

Just get it over and done with.
 

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dontcloseyoureyes

BARNES OUT
The Sterling bull**** is exclusively because he's black. Nothing else to it. If nothing was different except he was white he'd be beloved in the press for all the charity stuff he does for underprivileged kids.
 

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That's actually quite disgusting
Haha yeah it's just the tip of the iceberg of English national team media coverage. They relentlessly abuse their own in a way that looks utterly bizarre from the outside. Been doing it for as long as anyone can remember, too.

Just imagining the Irish press running a string of articles ripping apart Shane Duffy after a bad result. People wouldn't stand for it.
 

S.Kennedy

International Vice-Captain
But it is not as if certain English players of the past have not set themselves up for a media deconstruction job, bed hopping, crashing Lamborghinis and racism being just some of the shenanigans indulged.
 

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