Daniel Sturridge produced a scintillating performance against Leicester City at Anfield on Saturday night, the kind that showed he can and is adapting to Klopp’s high tempo style of play.
There has been much criticism of Daniel Sturridge not suiting Klopp’ style of play and there is a fair point as there was a time when he really didn’t look like he was willing to run for the team. Much has also been written about Klopp’s relationship with Sturridge after Divock Origi came on of the bench before Sturridge in the 1-1 draw with Spurs before the international break, thus people saying that Sturridge has been relegated to third choice striker even though he is our best striker that we have.
When Klopp named Sturridge in the starting line up to face Leicester for the grand opening of the new and impressive stand at Anfield it raised a few eyebrows after what has been written by many newspapers and media outlets about Klopp and Sturridge’s so called ‘relationship’. To Liverpool fans we were not surprised to see Sturridge back in the starting line up as simply put he is our best striker and finisher, this Klopp surely knows regardless of what is being written and simply isn’t true.
Klopp has his reasons why Sturridge is dropped from time to time, whether to keep him fit or just because he believes other players are more suited to that type of game. Of course anyone that knows Sturridge will know that he won’t be content with being on the bench as he is a player that wants to be our main man and starting week in and week out to prove his doubters wrong.
Klopp threw him in against Leicester, with Coutinho being rested maybe a part in why he started this game, and he was a man on a mission all game. He was pressing the ball intelligently showing maybe now he is starting to adapt to this new style of play, he was being less selfish instead of cutting in and taking shots constantly he was linking play exceptionally well and was unselfish with his beautiful back heel assist to Mane to score Liverpool’s second of the game. Yes his finishing was awful in this game he could of had two goals easily if his finishing was up to scratch but everything else was brilliant from the England international.
I get the feeling that Sturridge is chomping at the bit right now for a consistent run in the side. He was left at home for the trip to Arsenal with Klopp not risking him, he then started against Burnley on the wing which just didn’t work or suit Sturridge who was clearly unhappy at this, he was then left on the bench against Burton in the League cup before coming off it to score two well taken goals, then he was benched against Spurs and came on for just five minutes, and then he was benched for England with Harry Kane being preferred to him and then he finally starts a game and in his natural position and look what happened he was a man on a mission.
Now this brings us to the Chelsea game coming up this Friday night, a blockbuster game at Stamford Bridge of course. Did Sturridge do enough in the game against Leicester to earn another start here? Or will Firmino once again up top in a big game which Klopp really likes to do? I think Klopp will play it safe and go with the tried and trusted method of a false nine with plenty of transition between the forward three players. I get the feeling that Sturridge isn’t the man Klopp trusts for these big away games and Firmino’s record in these games is great so why would Klopp go against that now. Firmino, Mane and Coutinho are all certain starters for Liverpool in general and with Coutinho being rested last week a big part in why Sturridge started that game I just feel who can you drop out of these three players? Maybe Coutinho could drop into the three man midfield with Henderson and Lallana but this could be to attacking unless Can is fit enough to start the game.
Klopp normally goes with a false nine in big away games and I expect that to continue here with the transition and movement of Coutinho, Mane and Firmino key to unlocking the Chelsea defence. Sturridge will play games this season of course he will but he is suited to playing the teams that will sit back and let us have possession. Sturridge will get a run in the side eventually but he will have to bide his time as Klopp rightfully trusts this system in big games and this system has seen us put 3 or 4 goals past plenty of sides. But it’s a decision Klopp will have to make and he could surprise us all yet.