Dickov and Dunne: Sterling is leading by example

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Raheem Sterling’s leadership skills have been praised by legendary City duo Paul Dickov and Richard Dunne in the wake of the forward’s impressive stint wearing the City armband.

With both Club skipper Fernandinho and Kevin De Bruyne absent from the starting line-up, Sterling was afforded the honour of being named captain for last Saturday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Arsenal, where he scored the winner.

He then led the side once more to great effect in Wednesday’s 3-1 Champions League triumph over Porto in our Group C opener.

And, speaking on the latest edition of our special matchday programme 'We’re Not Really Here', special guests Dickov, Dunne - along with fellow City icon Shaun Wright-Phillips - paid tribute to Sterling’s captaincy qualities and continued excellence.

Dunne and Dickov also agreed that being handed the armband was a fitting testament to Sterling’s standing with his colleagues along with his tireless commitment to the City cause.

“With Raheem, he’s shown you don’t always have to be a shouter or a bawler to be a captain,” said former City and Scotland striker Dickov.

“There’s a perception that if you shout the loudest, you’re a fantastic captain but that doesn’t always work.

“Raheem leads by example and as a captain by how he plays with, and without, the ball and how he is off the pitch .

“People talk about the goals he scores and how many he creates, but if you look at that high press which we employ, nine times out of 10 it’s Raheem who sets it off so he’s already settling the example.

“Pep (Guardiola) knows that, and the players obviously respect him and that’s why he’s got the armband.”

Dickov’s glowing assessment of Sterling’s leadership qualities were endorsed by fellow Porto matchday guest Richard Dunne, a legendary former City captain himself.

For his part, Dunne said being handed the armband was merely the latest evidence both of Sterling’s quality and crucial standing in the City dressing room.

“It’s like the next step for Raheem. He leads - both on and off the pitch - the way he speaks when he is speaking to the press or whatever,” declared Dunne.

“He seems like a really good character and someone that the players would follow. You listen to him and respect what he has to say.”

Wright-Phillips meanwhile alluded to the way Sterling has honed and modified his individual game to great effect as further example of his development and impact.

“For me it’s about Raheem’s transition. If you watch him closely over the years you can see he doesn’t dribble as much – before he was always going at people,” Wright-Phillips reflected.

“Now he seems to play the ball and move more and his movement to get on the end of crosses - and his finishing - has got a lot better.”

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