I’m sad to see Raheem Sterling is leaving Manchester City but I do wish him well for the future of course. For the final MCFC match programme of the season I included a small piece on Sterling and his status/achievements at the Etihad within my regular feature. To mark his departure I’m posting what I said only a couple of months ago here. Enjoy!
Here’s the unedited original piece as it was written: I want to focus on one of our current players who has been establishing himself as one of our greatest goal scorers of all time. In recent weeks we have rightly remembered the goalscoring exploits of our legendary hero Sergio Agüero, especially that memorable day ten years ago. These achievements have to be celebrated and remembered but we should also look at our current goal scorers and recognise what they are achieving too. Legends like Agüero do not come along every day but in today’s squad we have players whose achievements are way ahead of the majority of other players who have preceded them.
Although we may celebrate odd goals and moments, we don’t often celebrate the achievements of our players while they are playing, especially as we know we have a squad of talented players helping the club challenge for success. However, I think it’s worth pausing to recognise the achievements of Raheem Sterling during his time at City. Sterling is now the second highest scorer for City in the modern era.
For years our top ten goal scorers of all-time list was fairly static. In fact, before Agüero, the most recent player to enter our top ten goal scorers’ chart was Colin Bell, who had followed Francis Lee into the table around fifty years ago. Agüero, of course, is our number one goal scorer of all time now, followed by 1930s stars Eric Brook & Tommy Johnson, then Colin Bell. At the time of going to press Raheem Sterling is 11th in the list after scoring 131 City goals, only one behind Billy Gilliespie and Fred Tilson, our joint ninth highest goal scorers.
We really should celebrate the career statistics of Sterling. It’s an amazing achievement to have eclipsed ALL but the current top ten prior to today’s game. I’m sure some critics will say ‘ah, but how does his scoring ratio compare?’ Well, sadly, for the majority of players in City’s top ten we are unable to have accurate statistics on the number of minutes played to allow a direct comparison, but we do have goals per game ratio statistics. Sterling’s goals to game ratio is 0.388, which is better than Colin Bell’s ratio of 0.305 goals per game and Eric Brook’s 0.359. Not too shabby then, especially when you consider the nature of modern-day squad football meant that Sterling either came on as substitute or was substituted in over 150 of his 338 games too!