For most, the excitement over Raheem Sterling's potential and quick growth over the past month has sat uncomfortably next to fears the 17-year-old's development could end up damaged if Liverpool continue to rely on him so heavily at such an early age. Yet avoiding piling on too much pressure too soon is becoming an increasingly tough ask given that, as Nate of Oh You Beauty's essential statistical breakdown of Sterling shows, he's actually getting better with every passing week. More passes attempted each game and more received, an improving completion rate, more shots and chances created—even more tackles. In fact, against Sunderland he led Liverpool in almost every attacking or possession-based statistical category. And with every week his numbers seem to bump up a little bit more, backing up the impression many have quickly developed of a player who already seems nearly undroppable. Manchester United on Sunday seems unlikely to offer a break for the youngster, but Young Boys on Thursday in the Europa probably has to see Sterling start on the bench—and hopefully finish there, too. For now, though, be sure to take a look at the full statistical breakdown of Sterling's season so far—complete with lots of pretty charts—to see just how quickly Sterling has become one of the club's most important players.
Those watching will have taken note of Sunderland's message in remembrance of Hillsborough and the 96 at the Stadium of Light when Liverpool visited on Saturday, but what some may not have known is that the host club also flew the stadium's flags at half-mast following last Wednesday's release of the Hillsborough Independent Panel report. And it wasn't only Sunderland marking the significance of last week for Liverpool and those who had spent more than twenty years fighting for the truth, as in grounds across the United Kingdom clubs and supporters offered up tribute to the victims of England's worst ever sporting disaster. From Arsenal supporters singing You'll Never Walk Alone at 3:06PM as their club faced Southampton, to chants of "Justice for the 96" from the visitors' end when Celtic traveled to St. Johnstone, to Coventry City striker Andy Robinson revealing a message of support after scoring against Tranmere Rovers, the weekend saw numerous incidents speaking to the importance of last week's revelations. Though for many Liverpool fans the truths revealed by the panel were long known, in the wider world of football that wasn't always the case. With even Stoke City fans showing their support, it's fair to say that isn't the case any more—and that's hugely significant.
His fling with Fernando Torres was a glorious, passionate affair -- a summer of countryside lovemaking and frolics across the Old Trafford turf -- but now the England captain must cosy up to his new Uruguayan clinch without the vitality and soft skin of his youth.A bizarre piece of writing about Steven Gerrard from Soccernet.
Here's the whole thing, for those interested.
"The Truth" plays a prominent role as This is Anfield looks at front page coverage of the Hillsborough Independent Panel's report, with "Justice" and "Cover-up" getting frequent mention as well along with Wednesday's most shocking and saddening revelation—that 41 of the 96 victims might have survived had the response of emergency services been better. Even the Sun makes an appearance for their front page proclaiming that "The Real Truth" has been exposed after 23 year. No thanks to them, of course, and it's not as though many—or perhaps any—Liverpool fan will pay their latest headline any attention given their role as exemplars of journalistic malpractice in the days following the tragedy. To browse through today's newspaper front pages and see how news sources across England reported on the panel's report, click through to This is Anfield.
Just like says, the top 10 guys who have played for both Liverpool and Sunderland.
"Liverpool Football Club commends the Hillsborough Independent Panel report which acknowledges the avoidable catastrophic failures before, during and after the disaster. The club also welcomes the Prime Minister's apology to the families and survivors on behalf of the Government and await the Attorney General's pending review of the report. After 23 long and painful years, our fans have finally been fully exonerated of all blame. Today, the world knows what we have always known, that Liverpool fans were not just innocent on that terrible day but that there was reprehensible and hurtful misrepresentation of the truth."