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Reason why Southgate keeps starting Sterling revealed as player speaks on fans’ criticism

The reason as to why Southgate keeps starting Sterling might have just been revealed as the player speaks on fans’ criticism.

A call up to the Euros for the Manchester City forward came really as no surprise even if he has had a rather disappointing season just gone despite his club being the champions again.

Sterling scored just ten times in the Premier League last season — half his amount from the previous campaign and well down on the 2018-19 season, when he was crowned Footballer of the Year.

As England prepare for their final Euros group match against the Czech Republic, Sterling was asked about an interview he gave last month where he stated that he was “nowhere near the level I know I can be”.

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There have been suggestions that City could be willing to sell the winger, who was unhappy at being placed on the bench repeatedly by Pep Guardiola as well as for both legs of his club’s Champions League quarter-finals and semi-finals.

He was dissatisfied with a lack of game time at club level — despite starting 28 times in Manchester City’s title-winning campaign and in the Champions League final as well as the Carabao Cup final.

Asked why he felt that had been the case, Sterling replied: “It is just happiness — just being happy, enjoying my football and that is what I am doing being here with the national team.

“If you’re not playing, you’re not happy. That’s me, that has been me since I was a kid. If I am playing football I am really happy — if I’m not, I’m not happy.”

Sterling is perhaps more important to England than to City right now and he knows it. He has started both games at the Euros – scoring the only goal in in the opening victory over Croatia.

Yet many would prefer that Gareth Southgate went with someone else, one of those being Jack Grealish.

Is Sterling being picked to keep his mood up? Southgate afraid to upset him by not starting him? The relationship is almost described as like a love-in and no one can understand it. It certainly can’t be on his league form. His performance against Scotland showed it.

Yet more bizarrely Kane and Foden was instead subbed off, and Sterling looked way off all night, no where near close enough to scoring and somehow stayed on, despite the options Southgate had on the bench.

Those at football365.com gave their verdict: “Southgate is a terrible, defensive, dull and unadventurous manager. Grinding out 1-0 wins against average sides isn’t the mark of greatness.

“Sterling. What?! Why? What does he actually do? Pass back to his defence, run away from the danger area? Switched to the right wing but no one told him so he just carried on standing around in the centre instead of attacking the full back.”

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Sterling has been critical of England’s performances in both matches — claiming they did not keep possession well enough against the Croats and that they did not show enough “personality” against the Scots.

He was certainly in tune with the mood of the nation when he suggested that England need to show more positivity, yet also claims he and the squad doesn’t want to hear the negativity because it could play a part on how they perform.

He said: “I feel like, for me and Phil (Foden) and the other wingers, the more we can get on the ball at the edge of the opposition box, be a threat there, it will be better for us because those are the positions we want to be in.

“At the same time, we have to understand that this is international football and teams are more robust, they sit in, defending for their lives.

“We’ve just got to use the ball better and try to get the players on the ball in the right positions so we can harm the opposition.”

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On Kane, who looked far from best in both matches at the Euros, Sterling is adamant that the captain will come good if he receives better service.

Sterling said: “He hasn’t scored in two games. That’s not that serious. I’m sure when we need him most, he’s going to score. That’s not a question in my mind.

“We, as a team need to produce more for him — more crosses into the box.

“He’s a player who knows he can score in every single game and he will be the first to be disappointed but at the same I know when it’s crunch time Harry will be there.”

Sterling insists there is no sense of panic inside the England camp.

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He said: “I myself was very disappointed in the changing room on Friday but then one more day goes by and you realise it is not the end of the world.

“You have got four points. It is tournament football, you can’t expect everything to go our way.

“I feel the fans have an expectation of us, with the players we have in the squad and rightly so.

“But as you can see from different games in the tournament, it is tricky in international football.

“As a team we were disappointed not to win but we have a massive game on Tuesday against the Czech Republic and it’s a game we need to win.

“I just feel there’s more of a panic on the outside than inside the building.

“We don’t want any negativity creeping in and performance levels dropping and confidence dropping — and that’s all that would do.”

Fans reacted as a reason why Gareth Southgate keeps starting Raheem Sterling is revealed as the player speaks out about not liking being benched for Man City…

@smit112: Sort your end product out the son. Do everything like a world class football apart from when he gets in the box. Then he is like a rabbit in headlights

@Finn_AFC: Bold of him to think he deserved playing time

@MarioFrick69420: He should consider scoring goals to change pep’s mind

@C_R_S__: Beyond overrated 🥴 needs to be dropped for the next England game too.

@Foxinthebox1: And yet Southgate still picks him although hes always said he picks on club form!! Yeah Righto he couldn’t beat an egg in the last 3 months let alone a full back but still started both games

@THFCOJ: He should be thankful that he’s still playing games for City and England

@Slug_23: Should of performed better than shouldnt he

@rayraybanks86: But he wasn’t very good. Infact he has had a awful season. This is why we are concerned why he is starting. When sancho has had a brilliant season but can’t even get 1 min on the pitch.

@omar_s42: I’m city fan and I’m vrey happy to see him not playing

@andyjsb: He should watch a replay of his performance against Scotland and Croatia – it may offer a few clues to why he wasn’t picked often

@BenjaminWba: I’m not happy with the amount he’s playing w England tbh

@blue_knight1894: How about some quality performances mf

@bdeanMCFC: Well who exactly does he think he will start over?

@Kevin_Maredi_: If he wanted more game time he should improve his performances

@Allanda81547173: Should be no where near the England team either.

@Ginkohro: His ego is bigger than ability now

@joehalford1990: Still happy to take he’s £200k a week tho ain’t he

@calcutler: Shame England couldn’t do the same

@Projected_GOAT: Maybe he should ask himself why that might be

@AVFC821: Surely he got more than he deserved? Played in a CL Final too. Turn it in Raheem. You’ve already played 2 games too many at the euros!

@MarkRee37875029: And we’re “not happy” that he’s walking in to the England team regardless of how rubbish he’s been, just because he’s one of Gareth’s favourites

@Knuckles_180: So what’s his excuse for not passing the bloody ball?

@Townendtopman: Not good enough. Try harder to claim your place in the team instead of moaning.

With a reason why Southgate keeps starting Sterling revealed as the player speaks on fans’ criticism, do you want to see him benched? Let us know via our socials!

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