Ex Liverpool wing wizard on Sterling: Press built him up too much

The former England star also stated his belief that Wayne Rooney had come in for unfair criticism at the hand of the British media.

Before the England versus Uruguay match kicked off in Sao Paulo, former Liverpool favourite Steve McManaman and commentator Ian Darke were discussing the press' reaction to the England/Italy game for ESPN.

Both pointed out at what they thought was excessive criticism of England talisman Wayne Rooney, after his appearance against Italy meant he had gone nine World Cup games without scoring. 

McManaman, who starred on the wings for England and Liverpool in his pomp, and Darke also discussed how much the press had been building up young Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, with the Ex Reds star particularly critical.

"They’ve lauded Sterling," McManaman said. "And they’ve lauded him too much in my opinion. But that’s the English press."

The comments would go on to be proven somewhat correct, with Rooney arguably England's best player and going on to score the equaliser against the South American side, only for Liverpool's Luis Suarez to score his second of the game with six minutes left to seal the victory.

Sterling on the other hand had a much less involved game, possibly because he was playing back out on the wings, though he still managed to show flashes of his undoubted potential.

Presumably, McManaman thought that there was too much pressure on the 19-year to perform, though he himself had suggested the Reds youngster could be an impressive performer for England in Brazil.

"I hope somebody lights up the World Cup for England, and that player could be Raheem Sterling," the Euro 96 star.

"He had a magnificent season for Liverpool and he has really progressed this year. He is exciting and both him and Adam Lallana can make things happen for England.

"We have several youngsters who have bags of potential but I don’t like to go overboard on a lot of the younger players because as a nation we put too much pressure on them. We always laud them up too much."

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch