Manchester City supporters have been pretty upbeat in recent times after seeing their side head into the current two-week break for internationals sat at the summit of the Premier League table.
Pep Guardiola’s men won the division at a canter last term in finishing 19 points clear of second place Manchester United, but it looks like Liverpool and Chelsea will be there or thereabouts in trying to take their crown off them. Yet it’s the Citizens that sit top of the table after eight games following their 0-0 draw against Jurgen Klopp’s Reds just prior to the international break, although with all three teams locked on 20 points, it looks set to be a quite the title race between now and May.
As such, there have been many satisfied City fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to have been impressed with forward Raheem Sterling’s efforts for England against Spain on Monday night, with the 23-year-old netting twice in a 3-2 win for Gareth Southgate’s men.
That brought a lengthy barren spell in front of goal for his country to an end, and ex-striker John Barnes (via talkSPORT) has since called for the City man to replicate that further, stating: ‘we know the potential they [Sterling and Marcus Rashford] have’ and that as such ‘we want to see it on a consistent level’.
And such has been his struggles for England, which pales into stark contrast his wonderful goal-scoring record at City in recent times, 54-year-old Barnes is absolutely spot on to want even more from the forward.
Ultimately, there is no doubting that Sterling is a remarkably talented player who could be an asset for both club and country for many years to come, but prior to his brace in Seville on Monday night, the forward had scored just twice in 45 caps for the Three Lions.
And with his latest one prior to Monday coming back in October 2015, that is a really long time for a player of his ability to go without a goal for England, even more so given he has been scoring goals for fun for Guardiola’s City.
The 23-year-old netted 23 times in all competitions for the North West outfit last term in their run to the Premier League and Carabao Cup crowns, with his tally of 18 in the Premier League making him the third-highest English goal-scorer behind strikers Harry Kane (30) and Jamie Vardy (20).
And with four league goals already this time round, Sterling doesn’t look like he’ll be stopping anytime soon, and one wonders whether finally getting off the mark for his country after so many years could bring him the confidence to build on that in the coming weeks, both for England and indeed City.
So while Sterling deserves great praise for his performance on Monday night, alongside his efforts for City in recent times, the fact he is consistently producing the goods for the Citizens makes it hard to fathom why that hasn’t been the case for the Three Lions.
Thus, Barnes is absolutely spot on to demand a greater level of consistency from the 23-year-old – a level of consistency he has shown time and again at City in the last 12 months.
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