Comparisons have been made between Barnes and Sterling, something that the older man rejects, but those similarities are set to be heightened around the World Cup.
Barnes was often criticised for not showing his Liverpool form for England and the 50 year old is worried that the same thing could happen to Sterling – purely because of the Three Lions’ style of play.
‘We’re both from Jamaica and that’s about it,’ Barnes said.
‘He’s right-footed and small. I’m left-footed and average size.’ However, having established the differences, he warms to his theme.
‘People threw that at me all the time,’ said Barnes. ‘You don’t do for your country what you do for your club. It’s because your country plays completely differently to the way that your club does.
‘If you look at the way Sterling plays and the way Liverpool play, England don’t play that way.
“The way England play – not dominating possession – is that going to suit Sterling? Because if you look at England players in the past couple of World Cups, the players who have made the most impact have been the defenders and hard-working midfield players. We play against teams who dominate possession.