Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling shows-up right on-time 0

Raheem Sterling was excellent at White Hart Lane yesterday, and more significantly, he was excellent at White Hart Lane in front of Roy Hodgson yesterday - from being a bit of an international after-thought, Sterling has now made himself relevant again as the World Cup approaches.

We all know what Sterling is capable of, and we’re all aware of his technical ability, but there was a difference in his mentality on Sunday, and there was an aggressiveness about his play which made him incredibly effective.

Raheem Sterling (heat-map vs Tottenham)

Raheem Sterling (heat-map vs Tottenham)

The graphic above is as much about how Liverpool used Sterling as it is his own personal contribution - the high-temperament, quick-passing system used by Brendan Rodgers’ side yesterday successful put him in offensively-pertinent positions, and also frequently isolated him with the two full-backs Tottenham used across the course of the game (Kyle Naughton & Zeki Fryers).

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This second graphic illustrates the point better; it shows how much of Liverpool’s passing was directed towards the Tottenham left, and it demonstrates not only how well Rodgers identified the opposition’s primary weakness, but also how efficiently he used one of his players to exploit it.

Credit to him for that, and a tip of the hat to Raheem Sterling for being able to execute his manager’s game-plan.

Roy Hodgson might want to re-watch the game-tape from yesterday, and take note of how to best-utilise someone who can be a potent attacking weapon in Brazil.

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