To start with, an aphorism: Football is amazing. One of the reasons it’s so fantastic is that it provides us with such a multitude of ways in which to derive pleasure; according to consistently high gate receipts, some people even enjoy going to watch Middlesbrough.
Another weird means of getting our kicks is through hatred. As righteous as we may be, we’ve all got a player or ten who makes us shake our heads as he walks on the pitch, maybe even bringing out an unpleasant comment.
The press, of course, act as a catalyst for this. It’s a bit of a chicken and egg sort of debate, with nobody really sure whether we hate players because of the press or they dig up dirt on them because it’ll appease us.
Occasionally, though, you feel the whole country either shrugging their shoulders with apathy or throwing papers onto living room tables in anger at another press witch-hunt.
That brings us onto Raheem Sterling, and the media fetish for lambasting the winger.
Sterling is far from a faultless character; his move from Liverpool to Man City could have been handled better and 2013 arrests for hitting women – for which Sterling was never, it has to be noted, proven guilty – paint the picture of a petulant young player used to getting his own way.
Every day in the snake pit when Raheem Sterling and Fabian Delph cross paths. pic.twitter.com/vi8pin9qOR
— LFC Podcasting Couch (@PodcastingCouch) March 18, 2017
That description would probably apply to 99% of his peers, but for some reason Sterling has been singled out by the press as a rotten apple and hounded so vigorously that you can almost hear Joseph McCarthy’s ghost clapping in admiration.
Some of the ethically repugnant actions that have led to his name – or variations of it containing stupid puns – are as follows:
• Smoking a sisha pipe!
• Buying an expensive car!
• Getting said car dirty!
• Buying an expensive house!
• Eating at Greggs after buying said expensive house!
• Buying his mother a house after a side he plays for lost a game!
Other articles include a ‘REVEALED’ piece detailing the fact that Sterling owns seven cars. One for each day of the week, it pointed out insightfully.
A search for John Stones’ cars yields no results from mainstream publications, indeed nothing whatsoever. We suspect that Stones isn’t driving around in a second-hand Suzuki Celerio, but there you go.
Raheem Sterling is 22 years old and was born into poverty in Jamaica. The fact that he wants to buy a new car, or seven, with money he’s earned is nobody’s business.
Nor for that matter is the decision to buy his mother a new house. She could live on the streets or build a property empire and England would still be an awful team incapable of achieving, her residence is really not a matter of national importance.
This season, Sterling has blossomed. His form has been excellent and is showing a maturity to his game many felt was previously lacking. He also posted a dig at the press that we loved.
That post has since been deleted, but the forward did upload this photo, and questioned whether there would be reports about his lack of visits to the hairdressers. Marvellous.
We here at CLICKON would like to wish the player luck; may he continue making certain ‘news outlets’ look like the idiots they are, buying as many cars as he wants along the way.