Liverpool this season already and must be rotated to avoid burn out and injury in this man’s game.

Wayne Rooney was restricted to 33 games in all competitions in his first season and 34 in his second as David Moyes tried to nurture his talent. Rooney also in terms of build was more ready physically for the demands of the Premier League, due to his incredible strength as early as 16. Sterling doesn’t posses the same natural physical gifts as the Manchester United, forward but then physical strength is less important out-wide. But still I can’t help but think keeping a wiry five foot seven forward on track for a 40 match plus season, could do great long-term damage.

Jack Wilshere became an integral part of Arsenal’s team at 19 and including internationals appeared in 53 matches.  An ankle injury means Wilshere hasn’t played a professional football match since and I find it impossible that his injury weren’t due to him being over-played at 19.

The nature of the 17 year old’s position could also lead to more trouble and potential injury creative, pacy players are far more likely to be on the end of nasty challenges, as inferior defenders attempt to deal with their trickery. Lost amidst the Luis Suarez diving debate and the condemnation of Robert Huth’s disgusting stamp, was a ferocious scissor tackle Dean Whitehead committed on Sterling.

Another relevant comparison is with another young explosive talent who emerged through the Liverpool ranks, Michael Owen. The 32 year old played 44 games in his first full season. Now nearing the tail end of his career and being reduced to a impact substitute at Stoke, and having not represented England for four years, you must wonder whether the persistent playing of the striker in is teen years, is connected to his brutal injury problems he suffered during his twenties. The former Liverpool man, readily admits the best years of his career were as a teenager.

Sterling is likely to play a part during international break, having been included in England under 21s squad and the time is now for Brendan Rodgers to start using the forward more sparingly. Sterling has brought pace and dynamism to Liverpool, something that was lacking from Stuart Downing’s wing-play last year.

Rodgers may reservations about taking the 17 year old of his team, considering Sterling has been outperforming seasoned internationals, but this constant use of his starlet risks damaging him in the long term. The main issue with Rodgers taking Sterling out the team is lack of options out wide; Downing endured a miserable season after his £20 million move. The former Swansea boss has also hinted at using the £20 million man as a full-back. Both strikers Luis Suarez and Fabio Borini have been used out wide but both have looked more effective this term playing through the middle.

Rodgers focus with Sterling seems to be mainly on the mental side of the game, “I think we’ve seen so many times in this country. Top talents at 17 and 18 get so much too young, or pressure forced on them too early, and then they get to 21 or 22 and everyone has forgotten about them.” ( ESPN). While I think trying to keep a young player grounded is crucial and everything Rodgers says here is spot on. I also think its important that he leaves Sterling out for matches and rotates his talent to ensure he isn’t physically drained by the time he approaches his peak years.

Hopefully Rodgers will learn from Arsene Wenger’s mistakes with Jack Wilshere and not regularly play this precious talent twice a week until the end of the season. Follow me on Twitter: @jimmylowson

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  • James
    2 years ago

    Play him – don’t play him! Damned if you do and damned if you don’t – I’d hate to be a PL Manager. I am sure the sports science department will be advising Mr Rodgers on what to do and I’m also sure the he isn’t stupid enough to burn him out. Unfortunately we have a thin squad so he will have to play until we recruit additional players in January.

    Reply
    • sean
      2 years ago

      Is this a slow news week? This makes no sense,’ burn out’. the kid is 17 and hungry to play. If he wasn’t in this squad he would of been doing it in the lower team. find something of substance to write about. please

      Reply
  • Jim
    2 years ago

    Pity England don’t pay his wages then!! You carry on worrying about England and let Rodgers worry about Sterling. BTW you really should proof read your articles before publishing them!

    Reply
  • Common Sense
    2 years ago

    So using Ryan Giggs (A winger who isn’t built like Rooney) who established himself and played 51 times when 17/18 how does that fit in to your theory?

    Reply
    • dave the gooner
      2 years ago

      giggs was constantly injured till he discovered yoga at 30.. he was deffo burnt out at an early age without a doubt. never got the goal tallies he should of done and never was as great as he should of been, thanks perfect example of burning a young player out. his hamstring used to go 3 or 4 times a year. only since he has stopped sprinting has he maintained fitness. agree with you to a point but better example needed i think.

      Reply
      • Leo
        2 years ago

        So we get Sterling to discover Yoga then

        Reply
  • Felderkirk
    2 years ago

    What, exactly, IS ‘burn out’ and why would Raheem Sterling be more likely to get it at the spritely age of 17 than Steven Gerrard at nearly twice that age?
    ‘Burn out’ was a vague term invented by club managers to stop international managers from poaching their players for pointless friendlies. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was coined by Ferguson.

    ‘Burn out’? Do me a favour!

    Reply
  • Gary
    2 years ago

    To say Raheem Sterling is physically inept is preposterous. The guy is super fit, thank his Jamaican genes for that one. I remember one match, it was the 85 min and he ran back the whole length of the field to cover the RB who was out of position. Maybe he can gain more muscle mass, but that could take away pace maybe. I am sure the medical staff are monitoring Sterling really well and helping him develop even more since he is only 17.

    Reply
  • dan
    2 years ago

    if he wasnt playing for the 1st team he would be playing for the 2nd team, there is a big jump in class but its still playing 90mins of football

    Reply
  • 1choice_lfc
    2 years ago

    There are way too many variables for your argument to hold water. Whilst obviously you appear to be leaning towards lfc examples (nothing wrong with that) there are a number of talents to draw from that would counterract your claims. Then there are the immeasurable tangents; desire/hunger for the game vs. The pursuit of financial gain! I’m not going to begin slagging off Michael Owen (I won’t b able to stop) but at a point for SOME players they lose the desire to play, their focus switches. Players that started young and maintained their desire for the beautiful game pushed themselves further, they didn’t rest on their laurels and they progressed (yes Rooney physique is helpful) but look at cristiano Ronaldo much smaller than Rooney (comparable to Owen size) opted to push himself on and elevate his game and physique. Robbie Fowler is another the commitment he showed to elevate his game made him into the player we love. Owen was all too willing to just rely on his speed- he never sought to improve any other aspect of his talent and unfortunately Ged allowed this. BR will and has pushed sterling to b more aware of the full picture- so his future looks bright!

    Reply
  • BlaDeBla
    2 years ago

    Sterling is a gimmick player .

    A token hyped by the LFC press room to be supposed as world class when in reality he is barely even average at the level same as Sosa , Wisdom & Pacheco .

    Too much too soon perhaps but as things stand he is too small , doesnt have the size , strength , speed or final ball to trouble a quality defence as was exposed against Arsenal , City & Utd .

    Technically he is ok .

    Decent 1′st touch as long as nobody is near him !

    Tactically he isnt a disaster but clearly he isnt at the level he likes to think he is & tends to get carried away with himself .

    In terms of attitude , composure & game intelligence he clearly isnt Premier League standard let alone international standard .

    But he fits the required ethnic profile & will sell the required amount of shirts within the required targeted demographic & therefore the money men will be happy .

    Its just a shame the standard of Engerlish football has to suffer to accommodate children at simple schoolboy standard .

    Anyone who tries to compare him to Fowler or Owen is an idiot .

    Fowler & Owen were so good at that age it was near impossible to leave them out .

    The current kids they are bringing through are being brought throuugh at the expense of better senior players & that wasnt the case with Owen , Fowler , Gerrard , Mc Manaman , they were too good to leave out , nobody gave them any chances they forced their way into the reckoning .

    Even Carra had to pay his dues playing almost every position on the pitch in his 1′st few seasons in the senior squad .

    By the time Sterling is 20 I’m pretty sure we will be asking …

    Raheem Sterling , remember him ?

    Reply
    • RedWill
      2 years ago

      Is that the Manchester City side that Liverpool dominated or the Manchester United side that Liverpool dominated with Sterling in the side. LFC should have won both those games, also worth noting that Sterling hit the post in both those games, so was close to scoring against both.

      You are a bad judge of player BlaDeBla and i guess your name says it all.

      Reply
      • BlaDeBla
        2 years ago

        Once upon a time , in a land far far away there was once a vewy special wittle boye called Wackeem …. and to cut a long story short woulda , coulda , shoulda avoided relegation but they all lived happily evey after on parachute payments from yo-yoing between the leagues …

        The End .

        That ^^^ is how you write a fairy tale redwill , so spare me yer moronic “woulda , coulda , shoulda , if only” bullsh*t because its pure drivel .

        Reply
        • Charlie
          2 years ago

          Erm, I can only see one person posting drivel and that is you ‘BlaDeBla’. If you even had one solid piece of evidence to back up your sweeping generalisations and half-baked theories then someone somewhere might take you seriously… as it is you just come off looking like a muppet…

          Reply
        • BlaDeBla
          2 years ago

          Its clear you dont kno the difference between yer A$$ & yer elbow so heres a clue Charlie , yer elbow isnt that thing you sit on & speak outa .

          Run along now boy , before ya hurt yerself .

          Reply
        • Charlie
          2 years ago

          Yet again you come off sounding like a complete muppet. How does it feel to have the intellectual age of a 10 year old girl?

          Reply
        • BlaDeBla
          2 years ago

          There ya go again talking about children , yer an obvious creep .

          Reply
        • Charlie
          2 years ago

          ‘ya’ and ‘yer’ are not words…moron

          Reply
        • BlaDeBla
          2 years ago

          Is that so ?

          Tell yer mother I’ll be calling around 8 so she had better have some dinner on tha table .

          Good boy .

          Reply
  • Dave
    2 years ago

    BlaDeBla, your an idiot plain and simple.

    Reply
    • BlaDeBla
      2 years ago

      Aye , & tha best part of you ran down yer mammys leg after her 15′th “Special Friend” of the night was finished with her …. wat ya gonne do eh ?

      Ohhhh Yeaaaa !!!

      Reply
  • Noblelox
    2 years ago

    The male body is at it’s peak at 17, it doesn’t “burn out” I don’t know where this nonsense comes from. Kids usually fail because of the “lifestyle” they adopt outside of the game. It is that aspect that clubs need to stay on top of, training for 2 hours a day, and playing 90 minutes a couple of times a week will not burn anyone out, unless you are up til 4am drinking and taking drugs.

    Reply
    • BlaDeBla
      2 years ago

      The male odt is at its peak at 17 is it ?

      Ahahahahaha !!!

      Who told ya that ?

      Jimmy Saville ?

      Made ya feel special did he ?

      Bought you sweets & coke did he ?

      Ahahahahaha !!!!!

      Reply
      • Charlie
        2 years ago

        Is that the tactic you use then? Sweets and coke for the kiddies before you bundle them into the back of your van?
        Dirty little pervert.

        Reply
        • BlaDeBla
          2 years ago

          What kiddies ?

          I was talking about 17 year old’s .

          Its obvious your fantasys are misguiding you , sicko .

          Reply
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