Player Focus: Daniel Sturridge

Lethal left-foot, unplayable on his day, big time finishing, natural goalscorer.

But what’s wrong with him?

We all know DS15, the best striker in our squad currently, but he seems to have fallen down the pecking order, and I could argue that it’s his insistence not to adapt, not to be a team player that, who knows, might be shipped out by Kloop sooner rather than later.

His injury record is a record in itself, let’s be fair, we shouldn’t blame him for that. However, because of his injuries over the years, he, you can say, isn’t the player alongside Luis Suarez during the 2013-2014 EPL season.

He used to have a acceleration that takes him past centre-backs easily, or even a trick or two. Nowadays he’s relying on his finishing ability alone to get a spot in the starting lineup.

When a newcomer, young striker from Ligue 1 comes in with several newspapers voting him in the worst XI, and now replaces you as the leading striker to be called upon, you know something’s wrong.

I would say it’s Sturridge insistence not to adapt to Kloop’s style or putting in a shift for the team: pressing from the front, starting that press, which is key to us getting the ball back high up the pitch (reference to Firmino doing it so regularly and efficiently).

You might also argue that Sturridge isn’t the most athletic player during his career, but I would say that goes with Lallana. We all know Lallana isn’t the fittest player, yet he’s one of Kloop’s first names on the teamsheet, because he puts in a shift, he hustles, he press, he sprints, he adapts.

And that’s all credit to Lallana himself. Sure, he might not last the full 90 minutes, and might not get the credits he deserves for the shift he puts in, but teammates, the coach and fans alike all know his importance. How many times have him won the ball high up the field?

It’s fair enough that Sturridge voices out his frustration on being played out wide, so had Milner. But Milner, again, did his part. Yes he was at fault for Spurs’ goal, but I thought he did well and improved compared to the game he played against Burnley.

Now, back to you Sturridge. It’s now or never. Adapt to become part of the team, or you might be plying your trade elsewhere.


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