Neville slams 'absolutely disgusting' criticism of Man City star by England fans

Gareth Southgate

REUTERSGareth Southgate admits the team as a group have been through so much already

Despite Sterling's fine display on Saturday, he has come under fire in some quarters for an inability to finish chances in an England shirt but clubmate Kyle Walker defended the 23-year-old.

Sterling helped his side to a 2-0 win over Sweden to set up a clash with Croatia in the last four.

The 23-year-old's performances at the World Cup in Russian Federation have divided football fans.

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Everyone is talking about Raheem Sterling right now.

Twice in the closing minutes of the first half, his pace took him behind the Swedish defence with just the goalkeeper to beat and twice he let Sweden off the hook, seeming to lack the clinical finish that might be expected from Harry Kane. "He offers so much to the team", the Tottenham midfielder said.

"I think Raheem Sterling is an important player because he is fast and unsafe alongside Harry Kane", Dalic said in a press conference Sunday. "Still, he misses simple balls, and he has to be more aggressive in these kinds of things", Guardiola had acknowledged that Sterling is still a work-in-progress but the Manchester City boss had also reflected upon the tenets of his game which Southgate has managed to harness successfully. "The way he goes about his job has been fantastic, his attitude, work ethic, both fantastic as well".

The City star has learned to brush aside the off-pitch scrutiny, and teammate Eric Dier is in no doubt as to his contribution to England's success.

Sterling has been heavily criticised by fans and media over his gun tattoo on his right leg, showing up one day late to training at St George's Park to his inconsistent performance so far in Russian Federation.

The flak Sterling receives doesn't bother him as much anymore, in his own words, the youngster focussing on his duties instead.

Beckham admitted he didn't see the negative social media comments about Sterling, but agreed with his former United team-mate that the criticism was not justified.

"Every player wants to win the World Cup, every country wants to win the World Cup, so anything less than that is not really a bonus".

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