David Beckham Defends England's Raheem Sterling After Criticism

Raheem Sterling England

Although Jones acknowledged that the 23-year-old's movement and positioning had been fine during the tournament, he appeared to question how good he'd be were it not for his blistering pace.

Some see the fact that he is yet to score in the tournament as a huge negative.

Goalless for England since October 2015, Raheem Sterling doesn't fit anybody's definition for a second striker, especially when England have the likes of Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Jamie Vardy in their squad - all of whom have contributed more goals than the Manchester City forward.

It follows messages of support from David Beckham and Gary Neville.

"If we were to send England on holiday, too, it would be great because England has one of the best leagues in the world, if not the best".

ESPN's Mark Ogden noted that Sterling's finishing touch has been an issue thoughout the entire World Cup campaign, and to an extent the numbers bear that out, with the BBC's interactive player ratings seeing him given the lowest mark of anyone in the England side. Yet, anybody who observed England's quarter-final win over Sweden without any bias would tell you how influential Sterling was to England's gameplay.

"He had an excellent game against Sweden, running into space and stretching the defence", the former Arsenal striker added.

"They dealt with Sweden relatively easily so we know they are going to be a hard opponent and we respect them", he said.

It starts with Luka Modric in midfield, who is in contention to win the Golden Ball award.

England now has to confront a harder test than their previous encounters in the semifinal where they will come up against Croatia who defeated Russian Federation earlier to progress into the next round.

And this could benefit England if Sterling makes the most of the space presented to him. He's quick, he's dynamic and hopefully the goals are going to come now in these two last important games'.

Not many teams are, however, as gifted as the current French set-up, but there is no denying that all four teams which made it to the semi-finals in Russian Federation displayed a certain level of tactical aptitude ingrained in their game.

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