Raheem Sterling has been missing for Liverpool of late, with Brendan Rodgers resting him after admitting the young winger had 'lost his zip' that he had to beat a player earlier in the season.
The fatigued teenager turned 18 in December, having broken into Liverpool's first team three months earlier and even winning a senior call-up for England.
It was a quite remarkable rise breakthrough for him, as he has unbelievably featured on 35 separate occasions in all competitions for the Reds.
Which is why it is remarkable to see Liverpool fans slagging him off on a post on our website on Friday.
The article concerned was about fellow youngster Jordan Ibe, who has been starring for the under-21s, asking if he can go onto emulate or even succeed Sterling's success.
Here are some of the comments below the article:
Alan Quinlan: "Sterling has been consistantly poor for Liverpool. It's embarrassing to read articles suggesting he is a top player. He very rarely beats his man and his passing is dreadful. Two years from now nobody will be talking about him."
Clyde Best: "Ide (sic) better be superior to Sterling because the latter is a one-trick pony and not much of a footballer."
mike65: "...its notable how well he (Ibe) deals with the attention from defenders, and unlike Sterling Ibe has a genuine shot on him. Sterlings right foot has the power of a wet lettuce - something that really needs dealing with before next season."
Now the last comment was more of a constructive evaluation of Sterling, but the previous two are examples of fans getting on his back, and why?
Fortunately there were Liverpool fans who could see the pointlessness of 'slagging off' Sterling and pointed it out:
owen: "Who are these people slating Sterling? I can't believe that Liverpool fans would write a player who is only 17/18 and going through his first season! Do they really expect him to be a stand out player at such an early age?
"At times he's shown real quality and it's understandable that his form has been up and down given his age. So much for 'You'll Never Walk Alone', half of these Internet warriors don't even know the meaning of the phrase."
It's hard not to say it better than that; for Sterling to make the strides he has this season is far better than could have been anticipated, and too much was asked of him by his manager which is coming to bear now, but at least he is getting the rest he requires.
Next season and the one after the winger will come back an even better player and the future really is bright for Liverpool.
While it's clearly just a minority giving the player stick, it shouldn't be happening at all. The fans getting on his back need to stop being so demanding for instant success, keep perspective and simply show a little patience and appreciation for what Sterling has so far been able to accomplish.
What do you think of the comments? Do you agree it's ridiculous to slate Sterling's performances?
image: © bernard-chan