Sterling and Stones: The Light in the Darkness for English Football
As Roy Hodgson prepares to name his 23-name squad for the World Cup, Raheem Sterling and John Stones have put themselves in the frame to be on the plane.
As Roy Hodgson prepares to name his 23-name squad for this summers World Cup, Jake Beales-Hobson looks at two players who have put themselves firmly in the frame to be on the plane to Brazil.
Raheem Sterling and John Stones, not quite the SAS we’ve come to see on a weekly basis taking the Premier League by storm, but still one of the most exciting pairs English football has seen in recent times.
Once again we were given a full picture of young Raheem Sterling’s quality after a world class performance against Manchester City at the weekend. He’s played an instrumental part in Liverpool’s success this season and has shown he has the credentials to become one of the best young English players to grace the Premier League stage.
This run of form has come at the perfect time for Sterling with the World Cup in Brazil on the horizon. So the question is, does he deserve a place on the plane? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. In fact, in this run of form and based on his season as a whole, he’d be one of the first names on the team sheet.
Another player who has shown enough in recent performances that he deserves a seat to Brazil is Everton defender John Stones. Since the retirement of John Terry, the England national side has been crying out for a complete centre back, and in John Stones, that’s exactly what they have. With the likes of Sterling, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley, Townsend, Wilshere, Flanaghan and Stones, the future of English football looks strong and positive for Roy Hodgson.
Everton, after beating Sunderland 1-0 on Saturday, have now won 8 on the bounce in the Premier League with John Stones at centre back, conceding just 6 goals in the process. Stones has been superb cover for injured Phil Jagielka, and has shown Roberto Martinez enough evidence that he is on par with Jagielka and deserves a place in the squad.
Stones, who will look to compete with Gary Cahill, Phil Jagielka, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Joleon Lescott for a World Cup spot, may also have the added incentive that he could have helped guide Everton to Champions League football next season.
Sterling and Stones have 6 man of the match awards between them this season. Sterling, who cost Liverpool just £600,000 from QPR in 2010 and Stones who cost Everton just £3million from Barnsley in 2013, could quite easily turn out to be two of the biggest English talents to come out of Merseyside for many years.
This time last year the future of English football looked bleak in terms of young English players breaking through youth ranks to make a name for themselves, but the 2013/14 season has been somewhat unique with youngsters from all around the country working hard towards getting a place in Roy Hodgson’s 23 man World Cup squad. With Stones and Sterling, the future of English football looks promising.
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