Richard Keys’ Raheem Sterling diving insult turned out to be the same gibberish as Arsene Wenger’s claim – Dominic Farrell

From hundreds of goal contributions to dozens of individual and team awards and generally being an exceptional person with his inspiring actions for racial equality and social mobility, there are plenty of reasons to really love the Manchester City hero Raheem Sterling.

And now he’s pissing off Richard Keys.

Spectacular. Command the statue, Khaldoon!

Of course, if Sterling were to join Vincent Kompany and David Silva in posterity outside the Etihad Stadium, a few jibes of Keys’ ilk might suggest the ‘iconic’ pose would feature the England winger on his way to the ground, turning his head to appeal. to the referee.

Riyad Mahrez opened the deadlock in Wednesday’s 2-0 win over Brentford from the penalty spot after Sterling was brought down unceremoniously by Bees defender Mads Roerslev.

Sterling has now won 23 Premier League penalties – more than any other player in the competition’s history.

For some, this is a difficult and slightly dubious record to hold and invites accusations of being a diver.

“Raheem Sterling has now ‘earned’ 26 penalties in his PL career – plus a few in an England shirt,” Keys tweeted.

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“That’s more than any other player in the same period. Draw your own conclusions. I hope the officials will do it soon.

A few things to start with. Raheem is clearly so good at earning penalties that Keys gave him three more. It is certainly unfortunate that a journalist of such palpable self-esteem is wrong about a fundamental fact.

Then there is “Draw your own conclusions. I hope the officials will do it soon. Ohhhh, please Richard, let us know what you think! Pass on your knowledge! Do not leave profiles hanging.

Before we stray too far from the task at hand and disappear down a rabbit hole to separate the keysisms, officials drew their own conclusions about Sterling over a decade under the harshest microscope in elite-level football. On 23 occasions during that period, Premier League referees ruled he should be awarded a penalty.

But it’s a talking point as more prominent football brains have come to similar conclusions.

“I believe it wasn’t a penalty,” said Arsene Wenger in financial doping funk after Sterling won a penalty in City’s 3-1 win over Arsenal in 2017. “We know Raheem Sterling dives well, he does it very well.”

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Nacho Monreal of Arsenal fouls Raheem Sterling of Manchester City for a penalty kick during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Manchester, England.
Monreal fouled Sterling to give away a penalty when City beat Arsenal in 2017 and Wenger wasn’t happy.

At the risk of shooting fish in a barrel, Raheem has to dive well for Wenger to have seen him dive at all.

The former Arsenal boss was among a phalanx of pundits who frowned on Sterling capping off a brave performance in the Euro 2020 semi-final against Denmark by winning the kick that saw Harry Kane score on the rebound to seal a 2-1 win.

Sterling’s critics – and heaven knows you’ll find them everywhere – will feel that such flashpoints give them an open and closed deal. But if you take a step back, Raheem’s propensity for penalties is much more understandable.

Since 2012, Sterling has played 310 Premier League games. For a quick winger who relentlessly attacks the opposing defense while playing in Liverpool and City sides that play almost exclusively on the front foot, is it really such a remarkable or inexplicable statistic to have won 23 penalties in that time? ?

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The Brentford match marked Sterling’s second penalty win of the campaign in the English top-flight, meaning he is pretty much level for his career. It was his 32nd run in the opposition penalty area this season – fifth-best in the league in 2021/22 and second behind Jack Grealish in City’s squad.

His 67 dribbling attempts are the most of any City player in the Premier League this season, while his tally of 137 touches in the opposition’s penalty area is just a shy of the best of Bernardo’s side Silva.

Thus, the player who makes a large number of entries into the opponent’s penalty area, where he touches the ball very frequently and often flaunts his dribbling prowess, is also a player who wins his fair share of penalties.

Draw your own conclusions. I hope the exiled TV presenters will soon.

Do you think it’s unfair to call Raheem Sterling a diver? Follow City Is Ours Editor Dom Farrel on Twitter to join the discussion and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

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