During a training session early in Pep Guardiola’s City tenure, his frustration with Sterling’s tendency to cut inside into the crowded midfield grew so strong he inscribed a chalk spot on the far right wing of City’s training pitch. The spot would be Sterling’s home. If in doubt, seek the spot.
By standing there, he would be staying wide – giving him more space, and more 1-on-1 situations with his fullback whereby he can excel utilising his sheer pace and technical prowess to beat the man.
“I feel a lot more freedom” Sterling told BBC Sport, “I can express myself.”
Under Manuel Pellegrini, Sterling was receiving the ball in narrow areas far too often. Surrounded, his creativity was limited and he had no space to run at defenders.
“Under the previous coach … it was always two touches”
“You forget your identity”
There are two of Raheem’s quotes which just sum up his feelings towards Guardiola’s predecessor, and there is no doubt Pep’s techniques used on Sterling have bettered him, making him a more advanced attacker.