"Raheem's attitude is fantastic, his work ethic is fantastic as well".
"I wouldn't say there are any glaring weaknesses (in England's team) since they are in the semi-finals, that says it all". His forward runs and quality in possession, he can link the play or go behind.
"It's so clear to see if you were to watch back until now the importance he has on the team".
That Sterling is alone in attracting some criticism - albeit mixed with plenty of praise - represents considerable progress from two years ago.
Dier took that defeat as hard as anyone and admits to viewing the unexpected success of recent weeks as redemption.
He said on Twitter: "Today, I want to thank all that have and continue to support England as a team, this has helped us achieve what can only be described as a dream!"
"Our league is not so strong but if we had England's money, who knows where we would be".
But, for all his critics, Sterling has more supporters, the most important of whom is Southgate, who has kept Sterling in his starting lineup, and the forward has a groundswell of support from several other important figures.
"We as a country are united behind the team".
"But we believe in our strengths, too".
To do so, and seal their first World Cup final in 52 years, England will need to see off a Croatia side who thrashed Argentina in the group stage and edged Denmark and Russian Federation on penalties to reach the last four.
It starts with Luka Modric in midfield, who is in contention to win the Golden Ball award.
"Because if we don't do that, they will definitely punish us".
The former England winger added: "Maybe we would have more of a goal threat if (Marcus) Rashford plays, because he is more of a goalscorer, but then I don't think you would get the best out of Harry Kane".