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Raheem Sterling thanks England fans after reaching 'dream' World Cup semi-final

11 July 2018

It mostly depends on the managers at the helm, but also on the kind of players at disposal.

Finally, if Sterling does start and England go into the last 30 or 20 minutes level or even losing, then they have a greater abundance of impact subs who can be brought onto the pitch when the Three Lions are desperate for a goal.

"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses (in England's team) since they are in the semi-finals, that says it all".

England to take on Croatia on Wednesday for a place in the World Cup final, with Sterling paying tribute to supporters after the win in Samara.

"Our league is not so strong but if we had England's money, who knows where we would be". Gareth Southgate, with an unsuccessful stint at Middlesbrough and a three-year-long tenure in charge of the English U-21s, has circumvented that problem easily by putting round pegs in round holes - choosing quality players who can bring his ideology into life.

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

Everyone is talking about Raheem Sterling right now.

He actually mentioned Sterling a second time, praising his pace and power, and said he and his coaching team would be analysing England more closing over the next two days and passing that information on to his players. Beckham and Sir Geoff Hurst, though, defended Sterling's displays after the quarter-final win against Sweden.

Sterling's never quite been clinical up top, but his vast work-rate and prodigious speed ensures he's always getting another chance to make amends.

He said on Twitter: "Today, I want to thank all that have and continue to support England as a team, this has helped us achieve what can only be described as a dream!"

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However, Southgate insists the 23-year-old's worth to the side is not judged purely on goals and he remains a crucial part of the game-plan. He can make runs in behind. "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. Sterling offers this in abundance.

To do so, and seal their first World Cup final in 52 years, England will need to see off a Croatia side who thrashed Argentina in the group stage and edged Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties to reach the last four. Sir Geoff, a World Cup victor in 1966, added: "Sterling was terrific".

And this could benefit England if Sterling makes the most of the space presented to him.

Every player is in the form of their life: Jordan Pickford is Gordon Banks, Harry Maguire is Bobby Moore, Harry Kane is Geoff Hurst.

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Raheem Sterling thanks England fans after reaching 'dream' World Cup semi-final