View from the Kop

Are Sterling and Suso Ready For Action?

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SQUADS always look bigger in July. When the full complement of playing staff on the club’s books are reunited to swap stories of what they have been up to in the interim period since their paths last crossed, some may have been farmed out on-loan, some may be returning from the treatment room and some are new to this scenario with the seniors altogether.

I am of course referring to the next generation.

The new batch who have spent the last few years being developed, grown and ingrained into the club by the dream makers at Melwood. It is sink or swim time for the cream of our youth talent, but should the likes of Raheem Sterling and Jesus Fernando Saez (Suso) be afforded the same opportunities as Messrs Fowler, Owen and Gerrard were given?

Kenny Dalglish had no problem throwing the youngsters in. Of course he had the advantage of overseeing their progress at close hand having previously been working behind the scenes with the youth academy before taking on first team duties. Martin Kelly, Jay Spearing, Jack Robinson and Jon Flanagan all enjoyed first team action and none of them can complain about not getting their chance. The Jamaican starlet’s potential was plain for all to see in the FA Youth cup in February last year after he bagged 5 in an electrifying performance against Southend at Anfield. The attacker showed directness and a refreshing spirit for fantasy while scoring his quintet.

Unfortunately the youngster seems to be buying into the hype surrounding him, demanding first team opportunities, believing he is ready to step up to the plate ignoring his coaches calls for patience. He may not be there yet with recent performances in the youth team showing a lack of graft to go with his undoubted craft. At 17 he obviously has a lot to learn, pure talent is not enough to get to the top.

Suso is another player who is soon to be banging on Rodgers door. Rafa Benitez brought him in after he rejected overtures from Real Madrid and Barcelona. Encouraging for us, this young Spaniard models his game on the much missed Xabi Alonso, dictating play from a deep lying position and also adept at playing on the right cutting in to utilise his cultured left foot to strike at goal. With a midfield bursting at the seams it will be difficult to see him getting in on any of the central pivot roles any time soon but cameo appearances should be given out wide depending on if and where the manager decides to use him. His early schooling in Spain will put him in good stead under Rodgers’ Liverpool which as he professes, will consist of a high pressing, modern brand of pass and move.
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Rodgers finds himself in a position where if he throws the youngsters in too soon confidence and results may suffer as well as spirit amongst the senior players. Pro’s and con’s need to be weighed up, development and maturity levels must be shown to be rapidly growing with attitude and mentality being up there with ability and know all on the pitch.

The coaching staff will be keeping a watchful eye on their charges once one of the cubs gets fast tracked into the first team. Some may sulk, exposing an immature mentality, others may be encouraged and be keen to redouble their efforts seeing it as a door to their dreams being jimmied open inviting the deserving and ready to open it up and step inside.

There are others in the Academy who have attracted attention such as the big and imposing centre-half Andre Wisdom, captain Conor Coady and the tall, rangy and skilful forward Michael N’goo who will all be aiming to prove to Brendan Rodgers that the future Liverpool team is not in the transfer market, but right under his nose. Let’s hope they give the management the right kind of headaches this year.
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I've been following the Reds ever since I set eyes on the majestic sight that is the Kop in full voice with flags aloft, albeit from the television with my dad as a 5 year old in my hometown of Dublin! He would tell me about the Irish contingent, the likes of Heighway, Whelan, Beglin and Houghton, he is a Leeds fan due to his hero Johnny Giles but I had to go against the grain on this one, his 3 year old grandson will not be afforded the same opportunity!
I completed a Higher National Diploma in Print Journalism back in Dublin where I briefly worked for the Irish Independent on a placement, covering Rugby, obituaries (including the great John Charles) and some sub editing. I then made the short journey to Liverpool, where I currently reside to undertake International Journalism at John Moores University. Some will say that over the years I have picked up a Jan Molbyesque native twang but I'm not so sure!
I was also lucky enough to have worked for the socialist publication "Morning Star" covering the Reds at Anfield which allowed me gain access to the press box and press conferences, I covered about 10 games and loved every minute of it!
I am excited to be joining the team at live4liverpool.com. From what I have seen so far the standard of articles have been first class, I hope to contribute to this by publishing pieces which create opinion and debate.


  • LFCfatboy says:

    “Unfortunately the youngster seems to be buying into the hype surrounding him, demanding first team opportunities, believing he is ready to step up to the plate ignoring his coaches calls for patience” Don’t know where this has come from, seeing his latest interview he seems to be down to earth and happy he made his debut last season unless i’ve missed something?

  • zahid says:

    I think Sterling is ready to be apart of the first squad, im not saying a regular in the first team, but should be on the bench. Given a chance i think he will shine and open up defences just give the lad support. At the very least he should be involved in the cup competitions this season.

    Michael Owen made his debut at 17 in the first team, Raheem was the same age last season coming off the bench against Wigan, he should be given more minutes next season.

    • Shaun says:

      Agreed Zahid. We do need to produce a player per season out of the academy. Pep and Rodolfo are going to get fed up and go back to Spain if the young players continuously get shut out! It will also save us huge amounts in the transfer markets if youngsters like Coady, Wisdom, Robo, Texiera, Raheem, Suso, Jack Dunn and so on!

      Play hard young lads and see the future in Red!

  • dj says:

    Very simple really. A little bit of something is much better than a lot of nothing. These kids are not afraid to have a go, and therefore should be given a chance. Not every game, but they should be used more.

  • Matty says:

    Regarding Sterling becoming a Diva……99% of footballers are Diva’s. If anyone saw the documentary on Messi on ITV……….he was also vocal about being good enough to start, despite not starting. Sterling deserves his chance. Not too sure if Suso is ready yet though.

  • dave says:

    does no one agree Adam morgon deserves a chance to prove his worth,he seems the kind of player to relish the spotlight and he has scored alot of goals coming through the ranks

    • zahid says:

      yup i agree he’s another one he should be given a chance, but since we have a few that failed to impress last season and were bought for a big fee these lads will find opportunities limited as the likes of Downing, Hendo, Adam will be given another chance to prove themselves ahead of thes young prospects unless some get moved on whic is very unlikely.

      Saying that there’s no reason why they can’t ge a chance in the cup competitions.

  • m kop says:

    I think they are both ready and I personally would have loved it if they and Shelvey played instead of buying Adam and Downing.

    They would have gained experience at least and anything they do could not be much worse.

    • zahid says:

      Agree with you mate i want Shelvey to play more aswell, i think Spearing should be loaned out to get more first team football and give him more experience.

      • m kop says:

        Only loan if the competition is too much for him.
        If it’s Downing again I think he would have no problem getting in.

        Only thing that made Downing starter for the whole year is his huge transfer fee.
        Now that is not an issue for new manager, he will play if he earns it.

  • HERBIE says:

    Don’t agree with ya piece, saying raheem lacks graft, have u seen many liverpool yth. He’s played in? The kid runs all day, and that was 1 trait that really impressed me! Suso models his game on alonso , sorry again but suso runs at lot more at defenders and loves a shot on goal, don’t need to offend but its only my oppinion! Really hope that they all can have a good football career, hopely at anfield, but we all know, that not every1 will, but maybe at other clubs, and people don’t believe the gossip regarding raheem, by all accounts he is a very hard worker and is only 17, god ano what I was like when I was 17! Y,,N,,W,,A jft96!

  • TG says:

    Great article i must say, we have quality and BR is defo going to give them a fair crack of the whip……………can’t wait to see these lads make it!!!!

  • The Rock says:

    Agree with most of the comments on here… These kids should be given an opportunity next season to give them some exposure to the first team… a few minutes here and there and run outs in the cup!!! Spearing was way out of his depth last year and don’t believe he has what it takes to be a LFC player!!! Should let him leave on a permanent basis

  • Ik says:

    Pls let rodger forget the transfer market and use this young player. BR look at sir alex farguson he gives younth players chance to prove them self so give raheem steiling, ngoo and suso pls BR u need these players

  • SuaRed says:

    You either haven’t seen these player or haven’t seen them enough!
    “Unfortunately the youngster seems to be buying into the hype surrounding him, demanding first team opportunities, believing he is ready to step up to the plate ignoring his coaches calls for patience. He may not be there yet with recent performances in the youth team showing a lack of graft to go with his undoubted craft. At 17 he obviously has a lot to learn, pure talent is not enough to get to the top.” Is an absolute rediculous statement and so wide of the mark you should be embarrased!

    As for Suso! “this young Spaniard models his game on the much missed Xabi Alonso, dictating play from a deep lying position”. Rubish in the reserves he mostly played on the right wing or played centrally in an advanced role of a midfield 4!

    I feel both players are ready to step up howeveryour assessment and reasons to be cautions are ill informed wide of the mark.

  • MS says:

    I agree that the youngsters should be given ample opportunity to show what they can produce on the pitch for the first team. It would be interesting to note that athletes are on average getting younger nowadays and can can perform to higher standards, both mentally and physically, due to modern training methods and much improved sports science. So in theory a 17 year old now is capable of a lot more than what a 20 year old could do 10 years ago.

  • sleeps with angels says:

    I think if Brendan rodgers knows just a little about what makes a real good player and what an average
    player looks like we should be seeing the last of Adam,Downing,Spearing and Enrique and seeing more of the young talent coming through.

    • Eoin says:

      Enrique?????? Are you for real mate? What were you watching last season. other than the last few weeks of the season he was one of our best players.

      • zahid says:

        agreed, but i think Brendan want’s to strengthen the left full back side, anyway i expect our fullbacks to get forward quite a lot and provide assists like the Swansea fullback were doing last season.

      • tobbi3 says:

        I think i might want to agree with him on that, he[enrique] sometimes charges with no foresight…that was all i saw him do last season,just saying

  • Nigel says:

    Enrique is a good defender and a good attacking full back!! Agree that Adam downing, spearing, Carroll , Henderson need to produce a good start to the season or surely they will all be offloaded in winter / summer windows

  • David Tyrer says:

    I think that’s a little unfair on Sterling, as he didn’t exactly ‘demand’ first team football. My understanding was that that was one of the stipulations in his contract.

    Unfortunately, we’ve already experienced what happened when the club already failed to keep to pre-agreed contractual obligations, see Meireles.

    As for the two youngsters that you mention here, I only need to borrow an old, well-worn cliche – if they’re good enough, then they are old enough.

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