Signed from Liverpool under acrimonious circumstances, inconsistent performances for the national side and criticised constantly in the media. Raheem Sterling has rarely been out of the headlines in recent years. However, the support he received from the Manchester City faithful was mostly positive. They saw through what the media were trying to achieve with their relentless, barely veiled attacks on a talented young star, wasting not one opportunity to try and bring the player down.
Despite the negative attention Sterling received, blues fans were mostly unwavering in their support. Granted, a small section of the fans were also critical, but that was more to do with his on-pitch performances, missing open goals, shooting instead of passing or vice versa. It was more frustration in the stands than the hatred that the media were posting.
And, even when contract negotiations stalled and doubts about his future were cast, City fans were still supportive. When it became clear this summer that the winger would be leaving the club, the Faithful wished him well, even though he was going to a Premier League rival, just like they did with Gabriel Jesus and later, Oleksandr Zinchenko. As far as City fans were concerned, he hadn’t achieved legend status, but his contribution to the blues will always be remembered. The fans and Sterling seemed to part on good terms.
But it appears those terms were one-sided, and the winger has since stated the reasons he wanted to leave City. And it hasn’t gone down well with some of the faithful.
Sterling spent seven trophy-filled years at City but stated he wanted a fresh challenge, which prompted his £50m move to Chelsea. However, he has since gone on to say that he ‘couldn’t afford to waste time’ at City and indicated his unhappiness at not being a regular starter in Pep Guardiola’s team.
“Since I was 17 I’ve been a regular starter, and to get to the peak in my career, not to be playing regularly was something I wouldn’t accept. My personality is to try to fight and change the scenario, but it didn’t come and that was it.
“As a person, you strive to achieve, and I just felt my time at City was getting limited on playing time for different reasons. I couldn’t afford to waste that time, so I needed to keep that same level and a fresh challenge.”
Put that together with the recent shirt signing incident, where the winger refused to sign a Manchester City shirt during pre-season, indicates that there was an underlying issue at the Etihad Stadium, something which the fans suspected but couldn’t confirm.
Now, it seems, Sterling has revealed his true intentions of wanting to leave City and as received a considerable backlash, particularly in the brutal world of social media, where many fans have wasted no time in giving their opinion.
It’s a less classy way of leaving a club than his former teammates now plying their trade at Arsenal. Both made emotional video messages prior to leaving, but Sterling now looks like he couldn’t care less, and any chance of the winger getting a warm welcome back to Manchester are quickly evaporating.
Sterling had his time at City and was, for the most part, adored by the faithful. But his actions and words have quickly removed any love the fans felt for him.
What a sad and bitter end to his wonderful Manchester City career.