Liverpool talisman provides an unlikely candidate for the toughest hombre at Anfield.
At 5ft 6in and ten stones, 12 pounds the prospect of taking on Raheem Sterling for a tough-tackling and fearless captain such as Steven Gerrard (6ft 1in and 13 stones) would seem like there would be only one winner - the bigger, more accomplished and experienced Liverpool star, however, speaking to the club's official website recently, the all-action midfielder explained why he refuses to go near the 19-year-old at Melwood.
'There is only one winner if I go near him in training,' said Gerrard, nominating the younger man as the more successful when it comes to one-on-one dueling.
With 55 successful dribbles registered to his name from 1,410 Premier League minutes, Sterling has consistently demonstrated an ability of not only taking his opponent on, but beating him, with a strength that seemingly belies his diminutive status.
While there is little, if any, data that can demonstrate how successful Sterling is against Gerrard in training, it is perhaps a surprise to see just how successful Sterling is when scrutinising his effectiveness in areas normally associated with his skipper.
As highlighted below, Gerrard is the more prolific tackler, but of those Sterling attempts, he has greater success. The senior player is more competent in the duel, coming out on top more often than not, yet Sterling gets stuck in far more frequently.
|Name||Team||Pos||Tackle /Apps||Won||Duel Lost||Duel Won||Apps||Mins|
'He's the toughest in our squad,' continued Gerrard: 'He just needs to keep learning and listening to Brendan Rodgers and the experienced players in the dressing room and believing in himself. If he does that, he'll be all right.'
image: © kong niffe