• Premier League

Sterling baffled by Rodgers' jibe

ESPN staff
September 2, 2014
Have the Reds done enough to contend?

Raheem Sterling has admitted he had no idea what Brendan Rodgers was talking about when the Liverpool manager joked about Ricky Villa and Ricky Gervais.

After witnessing a breathtaking run followed by a tame shot at goal from Sterling during Liverpool's 3-0 demolition of Totteham on Sunday, Rodgers quipped: "He dribbled through the Spurs defence like Ricky Villa, but his finish was more like Ricky Gervais."

But giving away his tender years, Sterling admitted he had to look up the two Rickies before he understood the jibe - the 19-year-old was just six when Gervais' hit comedy The Office was first broadcast and was not even born when Villa lifted the FA Cup with Tottenham in 1981.

"I didn't understand what the gaffer said when I was first told about it," Sterling revealed. "But then I typed both names into Google, so now I know.

"The boss joked about my effort and said it was like a baby's shot. He's given me a bit of stick for it but my finishing is something I'm working on. Hopefully, next time, I'll score two.

"We have professional respect and he's a good man-manager who has helped me a lot on and off the training field. I really look up to him and I'm glad he's my manager."

Sterling can afford to smile after scoring twice in three Premier League appearances so far. Despite his fluffed effort, he was on the scoresheet at White Hart Lane and netted against Southampton last month.

Now the winger is looking forward to only his second appearance at Wembley as part of Roy Hodgson's England squad for Wednesday's friendly against Norway. The national stadium was just being built when Sterling was a boy growing up in North West London.

"Every opportunity to play there is a massive thrill for any young player and it'll be a big test for me against Norway," Sterling said. "But I don't feel under any pressure. I'm just trying to improve for my club and country."

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