Raheem Sterling Ready To Shine Under Pep’s Guidance


You could tell by watching Manchester City yesterday that Pep Guardiola’s ideas are going to take some getting used to.

City’s 2-1 win over Sunderland was good but it wasn’t perfect and Pep demands as much every week.

One player who seems to have caught on straight away was wideman Raheem Sterling.

Watching Sterling towards the end of last season and at the Euros, you got the feeling that he was void of any confidence and didn’t really know what was expected of him.

But Guardiola has obviously instilled that confidence back into Sterling’s play and told him to hug the touchline as much as possible and just attack opposing full-backs.

Raheem’s impact was immediate, in the fourth minute his direct running caused Sunderland left-back Patrick van Aanholt to rashly bring him down in the penalty area. Sergio Aguero dispatched the resulting penalty and City were one up within the first five minutes.

Sterling managed to torment both Sunderland full-backs as he switched from right to left wing. He was chasing the ball down all day, always willing to receive it and take on the opposition, often getting past the man in front of him. In fact no one took on their marker and beat them as many times as Sterling did yesterday in the Premier League.

After the game his manager was quick to heap praise on the English international:

“We need that – people who stay wide and have the quality one against one. He has the quality to play right or left, go to the byline or inside. He is a fighter. Of course we want more from him but we are very happy. He is a very nice guy and from the beginning I had a feeling this guy is good. I saw him many times playing for Liverpool and all my staff want to help him to see the real Sterling.”

Those quotes from Pep almost show me that Sterling’s £49m move last summer was done with the mindset that Guardiola was coming in as manager this summer. They couldn’t hang around as Sterling asked for a transfer away from Liverpool and Arsenal were hovering around him. But ultimately he was bought because he was a Pep type of player.

But last term’s boss Manuel Pellegrini couldn’t really get the best from the twenty-one year old and it showed throughout the season.

Raheem Sterling needs to also heed Pep’s slight warning about wanting more. He needs to add more goals and assists to his name. In his debut season he scored six in the Premier League and created just two assists.

Yesterday Raheem only managed to have a 78% rate on his successful passes, we know his manager will want that stat to be up in the higher eighties if possible.

With that all being said, Sterling deservedly won the man of the match award and has started the season in the right manner. Yes he will have to develop and make improvements but you can see that he’s happy again, managed to get ninety minutes under his belt and looks excited to be working under Pep Guardiola.

It’s been a bright start for the forward and hopefully it will only get better from here on in!

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