Sterling on the rise as Milner banks a fortune

As Manchester City and Liverpool clash today in the race for a top four finish and Champions League qualification, it’s worth comparing and contrasting the fortunes of two Number 7s.

Raheem Sterling and James Milner switched clubs in the summer of 2015 – one in a sh*tstorm of vitriol, the other in a sea of indifference.

Sterling on the rise - Raheem is fulfilling his vast potential under Pep.

Sterling on the rise – Raheem is fulfilling his vast potential under Pep.

Sterling joined City to further his career, win trophies and yes, earn top dollars. 

He’s one of England’s rising stars, is rapidly fulfilling his vast potential under Pep Guardiola, has a winner’s medal – a League Cup Final victory over Liverpool – with the prospect of many more honours to come, as the Catalan genius gets to grips with English football.

Guardiola guidance - Pep will help Sterling become one of the outstanding players in English and European football.

Guardiola guidance – Pep will help Sterling become one of the outstanding players in English and European football.

Liverpool fans and the Scouse supporting media, love to portray Sterling as a money grasping snake – the epitome of all that’s wrong with modern day football.

He’s a hated figure for no reason other than having the temerity to leave the hallowed Anfield turf behind.

The world of football punditry, littered with biased ex-Liverpool players, laid into the English youngster in a carefully orchestrated hate campaign. It was as vile as it was malicious.

Up Yours - Raheem Sterling probably harbours such sentiments towards the Scousers and media who hate him and his success at City.

Up Yours – Raheem Sterling probably harbours such sentiments towards the Scousers and media who hate him and his success at City.

Contrast that with James Milner.

Apparently Milner left City as he wanted to win trophies, play in his preferred central midfield role and consolidate his position in the England team.

Milner is portrayed as something of a saint, allegedly taking a pay cut, for the privilege of playing for a club that has yet to win the Premier League.

Sterling was up front and honest with his reasons for not signing a contract extension with Brendan Rodgers’ team – he saw City as a more favourable environment to realise his future dreams and ambitions.

Charming - Milner seems to have gone out of his way to try and antagonize City fans since leaving the Etihad.

Charming – Milner seems to have gone out of his way to try and antagonize City fans since leaving the Etihad.

Milner fulfilled his contractual obligations with City having won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.

He left the Etihad without any acrimony from City fans, but the fact he picked up a £5m+ signing on fee is conveniently overlooked by the red tinted media, stacked high with Sterling haters.

No one can blame Milner for grabbing his massive pay day – that’s his prerogative – especially as he winds down on a solid and successful career, one in which he only hit the dizzy heights with City.

So why is Sterling vilified while Milner isn’t? Both players stated their respective reasons for swapping Merseyside for Manchester and vice versa and they weren’t dissimilar.

Change of colours - back in the day when Raheem wore red and Milner blue.

Change of colours – back in the day when Raheem wore red and Milner blue.

It’s worth noting that since the switch Milner has won nothing at Anfield – zip, diddly squat, nowt – plays at left back and is a complete non-starter for England.

Milner left the Etihad on a Bosman, whereas Sterling departed Anfield for a fee that could eventually hit £49m, albeit 20% of that will go to Sterling’s original club QPR, as part of a sell-on clause with Liverpool.

The reality is Liverpool will, at best, pick up circa £35m, for a player Pep Guardiola is destined to hone into one of the most exciting talents in European football.

Sterling maintains a dignified silence and respect for his former employers, even praising his former boss Rodgers, for helping his development.

Rodgered - Sterling was glad to leave Brendan behind, whereas Milner said Rodgers was a key factor in his move to Anfield.

Rodgered – Sterling was glad to leave Brendan behind, whereas Milner said Rodgers was a key factor in his move to Anfield.

Milner, on the other hand, seems compelled to keep pandering to the sensitivities of the Scousers who feel so slighted by Sterling’s departure.

Jimmy occasionally spouts garbage about City, the latest utterances claiming the present day Liverpool team is better than City’s two title winning sides.

Once again, it’s Milner’s prerogative to voice his opinions, but doesn’t it all sound a bit forced, somewhat desperate to justify his move after what will be two seasons of comparative failure?

Maybe it has more to do with actions speaking louder than words.

Winners - Sterling and City won the League Cup last season against Milner's Liverpool.

Winners – Sterling and City won the League Cup last season against Milner’s Liverpool.

Of course the Liverpool fans will never admit it, but they’re jealous that at 22-year old, Sterling will more than likely, realise his ambitions of Premier League titles, FA Cup wins and, who knows, Champions League success, under the guidance of Guardiola.

Conversely, the City fans remain largely apathetic to Milner since his move to pastures new. He fails to evoke extreme passions of either loving or loathing. He did a decent job in City’s sky blue, ran down his contract and left – fair enough.

Come kick off time at the Etihad this afternoon the away section will adopt their default position of victims, continuing to spit their bile and venom in the direction of City’s Number 7.

Whisper it quietly - Pep and Raheem are going to ensure City are a roaring success.

Whisper it quietly – Pep and Raheem are going to ensure City are a roaring success.

Milner will most likely go largely unhindered by the home fans, who will focus on trying to overcome a Liverpool side which has proven something of a nemesis in recent league encounters.

 It speaks volumes about the two sets of supporters.

 By David Walker

 

 www.readbutneverred.com @ReadButNeverRed @djwskyblu

 

24 Comments

  1. March 19, 2017  9:30 am by By by Reply

    I love every word. I think hell no. I know I love man city more now with all the hate and jealousy towards us. The FA. Press. Referees. Should just cry in pain. Because they can't stop us. Ctid

    • March 19, 2017  10:30 am by David Walker Reply

      Yes, City's actions will speak louder than the words of our detractors.

  2. March 19, 2017  9:41 am by Doug Reply

    Good as ever David. Just keep winning and winning, City. That'll shut the critics up - well may be. They will always find something to criticise but the more we succeed the more we will get up their noses.

    • March 19, 2017  10:29 am by David Walker Reply

      Thanks Doug - it's not an article that is necessarily massively anti-Milner - just one to highlight the hypocrisy of Liverpool fans, pundits and the media.

  3. March 19, 2017  9:44 am by Will Reply

    Some good FACTS there. I think Milner retired from England before he was dropped. I liked him at City and wanted him to stay. He was the perennial sub at City and would still be very useful as that. Loads more use than Delph or Navas for example. He left for first team football primarily so you could argue 'right move'. Nowadays I have lost respect for him. At City he never said a word except for playing up to his boring persona. The fact that he now utters crap about City makes me think he is being manipulated. I can forgive that but not celebrating so hard when Liverpool score against/beat us. He is always determined and pumped, fine with that, but to be Nevillesque in his celebrations is way over the top and hugely disrespectful to a club who paid him a fortune and earned him silverware. I seem to remember the complete opposite when he scored against Villa and that makes him a hypocrite too. Does he despise us that much? Sad and bitter if he does. Let's not forget also that he left sinking ships at his beloved Leeds and also at Newcastle and then left for better things when joining City. The fact that Villa fans never treated him in the same vitriolic manner than they did to Barry indicates that they saw him as a bit of a non-entity too. Turning to Sterling. The vitriol from Scousers and England fans is unjustified and pathetic. They do get to him, he is only human after all. I suppose he should be grateful that at least he didn't get threats of violence like another ex-player allegedly did when he had the audacity to want to move to better himself. That player is still a legend, his desire to leave conveniently glossed over. I really hope Raheem is relaxed today. He tried too hard at Wembley and Anfield which saw him miss sitters. His contribution today could be key.

    • March 19, 2017  10:32 am by David Walker Reply

      Superb comment and feedback - thanks fella.

  4. March 19, 2017  9:50 am by Lee Reply

    Lol what utter crap. You make out man city fans are perfect yet you hardly ever even fill your stadium. Whay fans? Where we're they ten years ago? Sterling is a snake and monry grabber and he had not been silent since he left lfc. He has constantly taken sly digs at lfc. I'd rather have milner than sterling any day. Sterling can produce great things but how often? Once a month?

    • March 19, 2017  10:27 am by David Walker Reply

      Sad sad little man - do your research before you spew out rubbish.

    • March 21, 2017  4:32 pm by Moulton Blue Reply

      your first sentence summed up your reply

  5. March 19, 2017  10:33 am by john sutton Reply

    Possibly the most one-eyed biased load of bollocks it has ever been my misfortune to read!

    • March 19, 2017  10:39 am by David Walker Reply

      Glad you took the time Cyclops ;-)

  6. March 19, 2017  10:53 am by Richard Cooper Reply

    Recently Pep has been questioned on his tactics especially on Wednesday but one thing that is unquestionable is how he has made Sterling a far better player than when he first came under MP. No doubt he will be the target of booing today (Sad people) and hopefully he will rise above this and "talk" with his feet. As for Milner - I will remember him for being a very good player at MCFC, not the somewhat silly comments he has been making.
    I noticed Joe Hart made 2 errors yesterday : Surely this is Fake News !!

    • March 19, 2017  11:02 am by David Walker Reply

      Nice feedback RC - Alternative Facts ;-)

  7. March 19, 2017  12:07 pm by steve holmes Reply

    Sterling will win cups with city, on the other hand Milner wont with Liverpool, sad fact is that the Liverpool fans hate it when one of there own[ no he was a QPR PLAYER FIRST] leaves to better himself , in two years since he went to play for Liverpool, Milner has only played in his midfield what he likes only a few times, but now plays left back.

    • March 26, 2017  11:38 pm by David Walker Reply

      Sterling will win lots of silver with City;-)

  8. March 19, 2017  12:09 pm by Sean Reply

    Spot on as ever DW. There is no let up from the mislead masses & their biased media informants - Sunday Supplement this morning shredding Peps management again this morning & even felt it prudent to quote an overheard second hand quote from a German source saying Ancelotti isn't doing that well at Bayern but they'd rather have that than have Guardiola there! Then, just to consolidate my opinion that are all halfwits they tipped City to win today! However, we do need a response today - we are the best attacking team in the league & need to put the Kopp loving media in their place with a reality check. That for me would include adding Zabba, Kompany & Yaya to the team sheet - born leaders & winners - needed for the run in & secure Champions League qualification & an FA Cup.

    • March 20, 2017  1:06 pm by David Walker Reply

      And STILL people doubt there is a media agenda against City - incredible. I'm responding after the match as I had to do the 250 mile trip after posting the blog yesterday. We deserved the win, albeit was a very evenly contested game, but obviously being denied two stonewall penalties, (Aguero and Sterling) plus an unfortunate lack of clinical finishing, combined to give Liverpool the draw. Yes, Lallana should've scored, but on penalties denied and chances missed, we should've taken the three points.

      As for team selection I think - sadly - Kompany's playing time at City is up. We're not privy to the whole picture but something is obviously remiss if, as claimed, he is 'fit'. I fear Zaba will leave, sad because he's a legend, but pragmatically Pep has to take us forward with youth to a new era. As for Yaya, his agent doesn't help his cause, and it could well be he will also be gone in the summer.

  9. March 20, 2017  8:03 am by Marie Scott Reply

    Great article, absolutely spot on! We need more of this and you David Walker! CTID 💙

    • March 20, 2017  12:58 pm by David Walker Reply

      It's been a long time since anybody wanted any more of me ;-) Be careful what you wish for :-)

      Thanks for such positive feedback Marie...indeed we are CTWD...and even beyond the grave.

  10. March 21, 2017  7:52 am by Zack Reply

    Why are United and Liverpool fans obsessed with our empty seats? Is that all they got now? At least City has now shown what is in store in the forseable future because the other two clubs are has-beens and it has been for a long time now.

    As for Milner, he is just dirt crap. His initial reason for being discontented at City was because he wanted to play central midfield and Liverpool was offering him just that. Look where he is playing now and doesn't that irate him at all? Oh yeah..they made him captain.

    Can't really compare him to Sterling in the slightest. He got no skill whatsoever and had to rely on his pumped up work rate instead. Except that he is a more dangerous snake than Sterling.

    • March 21, 2017  5:20 pm by David Walker Reply

      The article wasn't intended as being so much anti-Milner, more pro-Sterling and simply to highlight the hypocrisy so prevalent in the media wherever Liverpool and Raheem are written about in the same article. Thanks for your comments.

  11. March 21, 2017  4:34 pm by Moulton Blue Reply

    Great article as always. keep up the good work!!

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