Gerrard: Pressure hampers promise

Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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Former England captain Steven Gerrard believes too much hype is generated around young stars breaking into the national team.

The recently-retired international saw it first with Wayne Rooney, who succeeded him as skipper and will make his 100th appearance in Saturday’s Euro 2016 qualifier, and most recently with Reds team-mate Raheem Sterling.

Rooney made his debut aged just 17, as did Sterling just over two years ago, having burst onto the scene as a precocious teenager at Everton. He has been held up as England’s match-winner ever since.

Gerrard does not think it is helpful for all the focus to be on young players but he accepts Rooney’s talent has meant he has commanded centre-stage for a long time.

“It is his own fault for being so good,” Gerrard, who won 114 caps himself, told ITV Sport.

“It is almost a compliment to Wayne because he is so good and the press know on his day he is a world-class player who can create magical moments.

“It is only normal he is getting all the attention. Wayne has had it for years but he has handled it well.

“But I think maybe our country is guilty of putting too much pressure and spotlight on any one individual.

“You start to see similar things now with Raheem Sterling.

“It has always been the way; the media and punters try to grasp onto that one hero and hope he is going to be the person who makes everyone happy at a major tournament.”

Sterling was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons during the last international break when debate raged about his fitness after he told England manager Roy Hodgson he was feeling tired ahead of the qualifier in Estonia.

Published: Friday 14th November 2014 by The News Editor

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