Gareth Southgate defends Raheem Sterling ahead of…


Gareth Southgate defends Raheem Sterling ahead of…

Jones, who made just nine worldwide appearances for Wales, believes Sterling relies to heavily on his speed and slammed his finishing so far this World Cup.

Sterling's forceful running troubled Sweden during England's 2-0 win on Saturday, even if his erratic finishing let them off the hook on a couple of occasions.

The 23-year-old has scored just twice in 42 appearances for England - against modest Lithuania and Estonia - a record that stands in sharp contrast to his increasingly prolific strike rate at club level.

Not many teams are, however, as gifted as the current French set-up, but there is no denying that all four teams which made it to the semi-finals in Russian Federation displayed a certain level of tactical aptitude ingrained in their game.

More specifically, he's anxious about Raheem Sterling.

Speaking to reporters in Moscow a day after his side's dramatic quarter-final win over hosts Russia, Dalic was asked about England's strengths and weaknesses.

"He's had a fantastic tournament, I'm so happy for him", Dier said.

"He offers so much to the team", he said.

"The last semi-final I was involved in there were a lot of similarities in terms of the camaraderie of the group, the commitment of the guys who haven't played, the desire to play a possession-based game and the tactical understanding that the players have shown on the field. Still, he misses simple balls, and he has to be more aggressive in these kinds of things", Guardiola had acknowledged that Sterling is still a work-in-progress but the Manchester City boss had also reflected upon the tenets of his game which Southgate has managed to harness successfully.

He actually mentioned Sterling a second time, praising his pace and power, and said he and his coaching team would be analysing England more closing over the next two days and passing that information on to his players.

And this could benefit England if Sterling makes the most of the space presented to him.

Beckham admitted he didn't see the negative social media comments about Sterling, but agreed with his former United team-mate that the criticism was not justified. Every player deserves to be applauded.