Since Paul Scholes, the former Manchester United and England midfielder, retired from football and became a pundit, he has had a lot say about players and issues concerning football. This time, Paul Scholes has compared Liverpool and England’s young forward, Raheem Sterling to the current World Footballer of the year and Real Madrid forward, Cristiano Ronaldo, for the Liverpool player’s impressive run of form and performances for both club and country. Scholes reacted to the controversy trolling Sterling as a result of his claim of tiredness which made manager, Roy Hodgson bench him in the 1-0 victory over Estonia. Many have criticised the player for his claims as he is considered too young for such claims.
However, Scholes had this to say about the player in his Independent column: “Sterling does not seem the type to me to complain. I see him as one of those brave wingers, a tough kid who gets kicked and then picks himself up again. He gets on with it and does not hide on the pitch, a bit like Cristiano Ronaldo once did at Manchester United. And if he wants to reach that level one day, he will have noticed that the likes of Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta have played up to 70 games some seasons.’’ While Scholes is very spot on about Sterling, it is also very worthy of note that his statement has a tone of warning for Raheem Sterling’s managers at both club and country. Many pundits and former players like Jamie Redknapp have hyped players comparing them to top stars or former football greats without sounding a note of warning on the requirements of such big starts the liken the players to.
British pressmen and pundits are known for high levels of hypes and over-valuation of English players, which has had its effects on the transfer fees on local talents in England. These kinds of hypes are partly responsible for the overpricing of English players like Luke Shaw, 19, who was sold to Manchester United for £30m from Southampton. Other transfers that prove the over-valuation of English players, as a result of media hypes include, £16m for Calum Chambers, 19, paid to Southampton by Arsenal; £25m paid by Liverpool to Southampton for Adam Lallana; and £30m transfer fee that took Andy Carol to Liverpool from Newcastle United, just to mention a few. What really comes to mind when these British pressmen and journalists speak exaggeratingly about their talents is the pressure that comes with such hypes. Wayne Rooney had recently likened Raheem Sterling to the new Marc Overmars; Theo Walcott has been called the new Thierry Henry; Daniel Sturridge tagged the English-Brazilian likened to Ronaldinho and Wayne Rooney himself was tagged the new Maradona in the past. However, none of these players have lived up to the names been associated with them. Jack Wilshere for example was tagged the new Paul Scholes and the player has been seriously under pressure to perform even when he isn’t fit enough to. Therefore, caution must be applied in making statements about these lads as a they may never recover from as much as a little clog in the wheel of their development.
However, on Raheem Sterling, it can be agreed that the player is very talented and was an integral part of the Liverpool squad that almost clinched the English Premier League title last season, Brendan Rogers and Roy Hodgson should apply caution in the management of the lad’s talent so he could attain a height to the level of Cristiano Ronaldo, who he has been compared to.