Why I Agree With Sturridge Being Left Out

Why I Agree With Sturridge Being Left Out

As soon as the team was announced my timeline went crazy, many fans were apoplectic about Daniel Sturridge being left on the bench. If I’m being honest I wasn’t at all surprised, to me it made perfect sense. Fair enough he scored a brace against Burton Albion on Tuesday, but today’s a different game against a completely superior set of players. I’d also like to add that Daniel scored those two goals after coming on as a substitute. Frankly I’d have been surprised if Klopp had actually started Sturridge ahead of Firmino.

Why I Agree With Sturridge Being Left Out

When we play away, particularly at the big boys, Klopp likes a front four that will press high and try to smother the opposition. He opted for a solid midfield duo in Henderson and Wijnaldum, which allowed Lallana to press higher up the field as we attempted to defend from the front. Lallana is always going to start in these games as he’s the architect of much of our pressing game. Add to that the pace of Mane in transition, the creativity Coutinho brings and we are down to having only one forward position remaining. The reason he chose Firmino should be abundantly clear. He knows damn well that Firmino is going to put one hell of a shift in for the team, can we honestly say Sturridge would do the same?

While Sturridge is without a doubt the best finisher at the club, he’s not on the same level as Firmino when it comes to closing defenders down, harassing them and giving them no time to settle on the ball. I also firmly believe that Firmino is much better suited to playing counter attacking football. This time last year I’d never have made that statement, never. Since his return from injury though, Sturridge hasn’t been anywhere near as explosive in his movement as he was previously. Im genuinely unsure whether he’s lost his explosiveness, or whatever he’s still a little unsure of his body. Only Daniel will know the answer to this but it’s something I’ve made note of on numerous occasions since his injury. This article is in no way meant to be a hatchet job on Daniel Sturridge, that’s certainly not my intention. I’m a big fan of his and the hairs still stand up on the back of my neck whenever he has the ball at his feet in and around the box. This game though was never going to be a game I expected him to start.

AI Tees

I always try to be honest when I write and today will be no different. I also considered the theory that Klopp had left Daniel on the bench as a reminder of who’s making the decisions at the club. I wasn’t at all impressed with Daniel coming out and saying he wants to play through the middle and not out wide. Klopp made a valid point that although he may start out wide, our forward three are fluid and he expected Daniel to do his best work inside the penalty area. It was also mentioned that Ronaldo starts out wide but still manages to end up in the box scoring plenty of goals for the team. I concluded though that I was being petty and that Klopp would only ever make his decisions based on what’s best for the team for this particular game.

As the game played out today I believe the decision to play Firmino over Sturridge was proven entirely correct. Firmino was excellent and caused Spurs a lot of problems, none more so than when he had his heels clipped in the box and we were awarded a deserved penalty. The movement of the front three was excellent and there was real signs of an understanding forming between Mane and Firmino. Firmino’s movement opened up space that Mane was only to happy to run into and at times the Spurs defence looked baffled and unsure who exactly they were supposed to be tracking. I don’t believe that playing Sturridge up top today would’ve caused Spurs the same problems that Firmino did.

Is there still a place for Sturridge in a Liverpool starting eleven? Of course there is and I fully expect him to start the majority of our home games and I’d also bet that he’ll be our top scorer come next May. Away from home though, particularly against our top four rivals, I think we’ll see Roberto Firmino starting because of what he brings to the team. I also believe the decision to bring Origi on ahead of Sturridge for the tiring Coutinho was the correct one. Spurs were chasing the game and the pace of Origi is perfectly suited to play on the counter attack, particularly against a tiring Spurs back four.

These are all just my own opinions though, and I completely understand how and why people wanted Daniel to start. It’s hard seeing your best marksman sitting on the bench but in games like the one today, Klopp needs his front line to work hard as a unit and defend from the front. I don’t think that these are the traits we think of when we think of Daniel Sturridge. Ultimately the decision rests with Klopp and he’s the one that will live and die by these decisions. On this occasion, for the system he wanted his team to play, I believe he made the correct decision to leave Daniel Sturridge out of the starting eleven.


7 responses to “Why I Agree With Sturridge Being Left Out”

  1. Ronan says:

    I think carragher said something very similar to yourself this week about firminio starting the big games especially away from home due to his superior impact in pressing. At this stage under Klopp do you think sturridge can/will change to force his way into these games?

    • Ethan says:

      I think Sturridge will slowly adapt but if doesn’t start he will want to move

    • Ronan says:

      I agree he is a strong personality and at 26/27 should be looking to play every week, not sure how long he will be happy being on the bench. I would like to see him start one of these big games and make the direct comparison on the effect on the team with sturridge or firminio starting as a 9.

  2. Teddy says:

    I think a lot of people thought Firmino would start ahead of him. What surprised me was not bringing him on earlier. I thought we started getting tired around 65/70mins and Spurs were getting into the game. That’s where I would have loved to see a potent striker come on (which Sturridge is) to get a second goal. I like Origi but he’s still raw. I hope we see a lot more of Sturridge as our No. 9 especially against teams that sit back. 4231 with Mane, Firmino & Coutinho behind Sturridge would be good.

    • Ronan says:

      I didn’t mind origi coming on at that point with his pace to stretch them and hold up play as we were under pressure at this point and beginning to drop deeper. But can fully understand how it would frustrate sturridge, especially after mid week goals.
      That certainly sounds an exciting line up Teddy!

    • Teddy says:

      Origi’s pace makes sense. However I feel Sturridge is a smarter and more consistent No. 9 than him so with Mane’s pace, Sturridge still could have helped at that time. It feels like because he’s lost some of his pace we aren’t giving him credit for the other parts of his game that he still has.
      I really like Origi and think he’s got a big future ahead. My small criticism of him at this stage is when he’s not in the game he struggles (sounds pretty obvious) but Sturridge could be out of the game and then pop up with a goal or even 2!

  3. James Lambert says:

    I agree. I also want to point out that although I think DS is a great player, he kinda’ belongs to a ‘one man team ‘ culture that we at LFC have been obsessed with for far too long, and that I believe Klopp is building to replace with more quality all over. The problem with Daniel is that we simply cannot rely upon him psychically and he has in the past been used too easily as an excuse. I trust JK, let’s face it, we have a manager with authority on the world stage for the first time since Rafa and Gerard, (no insult to King Kenny by the way). Both Rafa and Houllier had success by not entirely building around a single ‘star’ player. Yes we had an Owen and a Gerrard at their peaks at separate times, but they were backed up by a McAllister, a Hamman, a Phil degen (joking, sorry, couldn’t resist), of course I mean an Alonso, Mash’ etc). Klopp is building, let’s have some faith he knows what he is doing. He may want to use DS for 20 league games, against sides that sit back. Best wishes, J.

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Published by Anfield Index
Updated: 2016-08-29 08:16:49