Sterling at heart of England World Cup bid despite goal drought

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate

Sterling is yet to net a goal in the World Cup despite being in the team in four matches out of five and has also been missing goal-scoring opportunities in the tournament on a regular basis.

The attacker performed well enough in the game as he made Swedish defensive pair Granqvist and Lindelof busy with his off the ball movement and brilliant runs.

"He is a fantastic player who can create magical moments and I think he has been one of the outstanding performers so far in this World Cup".

Ex-England right-back and coach Gary Neville blasted the half-time treatment of the 23-year-old on social media as "absolutely disgusting". At the time, the press were very critical of Giles for his lack of wickets, however the England squad and management core saw him as invaluable to their cause as the Australians struggled to score runs against him. "OK, we didn't have the cherry on the cake, the goal, where all of a sudden you're a hero, but it was a brilliant performance".

David Beckham told England fans to stop criticising Raheem Sterling and unite behind Gareth Southgate's team as they seek to reach only their second World Cup final.

Beckham said: "It is wrong".

Eric Dier believes there should be no debate about England team-mate Raheem Sterling's performances at the World Cup, praising the forward for a "fantastic tournament".

Every player is in the form of their life: Jordan Pickford is Gordon Banks, Harry Maguire is Bobby Moore, Harry Kane is Geoff Hurst.

Meanwhile, ignoring all the abuses and taunts, Sterling has applauded the support of English fans in Russian Federation. "We know what we want to do but we have to focus on our preparation and control the controllables".

"After Iceland we knew things needed to change", said Dier, who struck the decisive penalty as England won a World Cup shootout for the first time ever against Colombia in the last 16. "He offers so much to the team", the Tottenham midfielder said.

England survived a penalty shootout against Colombia in the last 16 whereas Croatia emerged through extra-time and spot-kicks against Denmark before going through the same ordeal again against Russian Federation in Saturday's quarter-final.

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