17 Mar 2015

Madness: Carra tells BR to drop 'problem' £29m star against United because he's 'not producing'

After guiding Liverpool to thirteen Premier League games without defeat, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has pulled the club's season out of the fire, and a win over Manchester United this weekend will complete a stunning three-month renaissance. Over the last two games, though, it's fair to say that the cracks have started to appear, and Reds legend Jamie Carragher insists that Rodgers needs to make a shock selection choice on Sunday to give LFC the best chance of beating the Mancs.

Speaking to the Daily Mail today, Carra urged Rodgers to drop one of the club's most prolific goalscorers for this weekend's game. He explained:

"The problem with Daniel Sturridge is he's not quite right yet. He's not producing and these games are vital. I go back to that Man City game. That was Liverpool at their best, that high intensity and pressing. That's what you get from Sterling at the front that maybe you lack with Sturridge"

£29m-rated Sturridge is clearly a victim of his own high standards. Prior to his injury, he averaged a goal or an assist practically every game, but he's (understandably) struggling to reach the same levels after his return from injury.

Still, 3 goals/2 assists in 12 appearances after a 5-month injury lay-off (including a match-winning assist against Swansea) is a decent return, and with match-fitness increasing with each passing game, there's absolutely no sense in disrupting Sturridge's momentum.

It all boils down to one question: who is the better striker - Sterling or Sturridge? The resoundingly obvious answer is Sturridge, so replacing him with an inferior finisher for (arguably) the biggest game of the season is counter-productive (IMO).

Additionally, it seems nonsensical to give Man United a minor boost by leaving one of the Prem's most dangerous goalscorers on the bench. Sterling and Sturridge in the same team is a double-threat; United will have to work really hard to keep both players at bay, so why not give them something to think about? If Sturridge up-front is not working, then Rodgers can always change things around, but it makes sense to start as you mean to go on, and for me, that means playing Liverpool's top striker from the outset. Of course, the same argument works both ways: Start Sterling, and if things aren't working, bring Sturridge on to make the difference.

The good thing is that Liverpool can survive without Sturridge, so whatever team Rodgers puts out will be more than capable of getting a positive result. Personally, I'd go for the following line-up against the Mancs:

----------------- Mignolet

----- Can -------- Skrtel ----- Sakho

Markovic ---- Hendo ---- Allen ---- Moreno

----------- Coutinho --- Sterling

----------------- Sturridge

Liverpool's resurgence began with defeat at Old Trafford back in December; it's now time to complete the resurrection with victory at Anfield.

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98 comments:

  1. Read the comment policy, it's pretty funny, Jaimie K the mad little dictator, if he doesn't like what you say he deletes it. He's just like Putin.

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  2. Doesn't really matter who we start as the fliudity within the team at present is a system which all except Balloteli can fit into.


    I also cannot buy into Man U all of a sudden being world beaters for dismantling Spurs - Oh my god they just lay down and asked to get f*****d - in my book that doesn't mean anything.
    please lets not do that thing that used to happen with fergusions teams where opposing teams shit themselves before taking the pitch and lost the game in their heads before a ball was kicked.


    We should still be able to rip these guys a new one on sunday - they are not good even if spurs made them look that way

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  3. Put in Hendo/Gerrard midfield and Allen in place of Marko to spice up the place!

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  4. dream on mate, united will make liverpool there bitch in no time! 4-0 united easy! bn watching united all season and from the past few games we have bn clicking and i wouldnt underestimate could and most likely will be a painful mistake!

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  5. Let's break this down for a sec...


    You predict 4-0 to United. Fine, you're entitled to your opinion.


    But then you say LFC shouldn't underestimate MU, but wouldn't predicting a 4-0 victory for MU mean that you are subsequently potentially underestimating LFC?

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  6. Sturridge is not playing well at the moment , running around totally lost .


    Is it that he is not match fit or is it Suarez that made him look good last year ?

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  7. He did just tear his thigh... twice... I think he deserves a bit of leeway if he's not scoring on his normal average of a goal/assist per game.

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  8. There were parts of that game and I thought that Balotelli would be pressing more and more effectively. That is surely a problem.

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  9. I'm sorry but I can't echo that. Remember UTD are ahead of us and have been playing some of the worst football in the league all season! If we know anything about those mancs is that their poor form usually doesn't last and I've been waiting for it to change and, while I agree Spurs were useless, they might have helped kick start something. They still have top players and are being coached by one of the best coaches around so to write them off would be foolish at best. It's been a while since this fixture has been a true 6 pointer with serious implications and I don't want us celebrating anything before the final whistle. Do I think we will win? Yes! But I do think we need to be smart about this one because we will either halt this UTD push or seriously damage their top 4 chances. From what I've seen, stop Carrick from getting on the ball (allen/hendo) and Fellani in the air (Sakho) and UTD are clueless

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  10. No discussion of pressing tactics? Sterling is much more effective up front getting on top of the defenders and we know that United are shaky at the back. Liverpool could have had a number of goals at Old Trafford, it was quite remarkable they didn't score. In that game, even with Liverpool struggling, Sterling was really important and had an impact in terms of pushing United into poor mistakes. I think a similar tactic is worth employing and that might just mean leaving Sturridge on the bench.

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  11. Plot twist...bench both Sterling and Sturridge and play Lambert and Borini up front!

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  12. Exactly DinMan.
    Man Utd now have false confidence because Spurs made them look like 1970 Brazil.Which is very hard to do.Their true football level is nowhere near that elite standard.It's closer to Stoke under Tony Pulis.
    To the cautious minded amongst our support, forgive me for being confident.

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  13. It wasn't about Suarez. He played without him quite few games and won some singlehandedly..

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  14. I agree in all seriousness about Lambert..

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  15. I think everyone is not really remembering the player he's always been. He's good and yes, he scores and he does some great things, but he can also be a bit of a sulk and he doesn't always work that hard off the ball. He has a tendency to get frustrated and can try absurd shots when things are not going his way. He doesn't have the greatest football brain. I get the feeling that having not seen him for a number of months we've convinced ourselves that he's flawless.


    Also Liverpool are a much different team these days. They had to adapt with both Suarez and Sturridge. In the end they did it so I'm not surprised he doesn't just slot straight back into the side.

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  16. "He's good and yes, he scores and he does some great things, but he can also be a bit of a sulk and he doesn't always work that hard off the ball. He has a tendency to get frustrated and can try absurd shots when things are not going his way. He doesn't have the greatest football brain"


    Are you talking about Sturridge or Balotelli? :)

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  17. I think if perhaps Ibe was fit I could see where Carra is coming from but without Ibe I would definitely start Sturridge and Sterling against the mancs. It is easy to forget Sturridge has missed 4/5 months of the season so he was never going to instantly return to his previously high standards.


    However, I'm not so sure Sterling should be playing as a wing back as he started in last nights game. Yes he is diligent in tracking back etc but I feel you pretty much lose all his attacking abilities playing him there. Thus I would agree with your line up JK.

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  18. Good point Adam.
    My prediction: High intensity and pressing domination from Liverpool with us winning by a couple of goals.Daniel Sturridge has struggled but I don't think it's related to shaking off the injury rust.It's more to do with how he's adapting to our new system.
    Like yourself I would start with Sterling up front, supported by our creatives Adam Lallana and Coutinho.

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  19. Balo should start against Manure. Sturridge did'nt do anything against Swansea to justify his place in the team, Effing bone idle display.

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  20. Isn't the suggested omission of Gerrard more interesting topic?

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  21. And hit the post, the most beautiful shot of the match..

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  22. Players and the manager need to be smart about this one, we should start drinking and celebrating Friday latest..

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  23. True, Gerrard made us much better when he came on last night.
    Maybe he should come on from the bench against Manure, if we need him.

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  24. I think we'll create chances against this United back four. Would I be confident in Sterling taking a couple of these chances? No. His finishing is still a bit too erratic in my opinion so can't really be trusted in this game. Yes Sturridge is not playing as well as he can but he just needs games to get back into the groove. On this site, sometimes we're a bit too quick to right players off.

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  25. Damn.. I agree, but.. Seventeen years.. And he was the main reason behind every single success we've had. I say let him decide should he start and how much does he play, he deserves that much for his last darby..

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  26. That applies to both. The difference between Balotelli and Daniel(and other top players) is that in almost every, or every other game, one of those incredibly difficult shots that should've been an assist ends up as an amazing goal. That is why players like Daniel, Suarez and co are not selfish, jus very good at what they do..

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  27. Lovely sentiments, but sentimental sentiments, nevertheless.

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  28. Can we also credit the free kick he won, that was only a yard (mtr) off being a penalty!!!???

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  29. If Steven Gerrard chose his minutes.He would play the full 90.Even if he picked up a knock or was energy zapped.
    Being a Liverpool legend shouldn't mean Gerrard dictates to Brendan Rodgers when he starts or how much he plays.

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  30. I agree 4-0 Liverpool and Ashley gets a mouthful from a passing goose mmm yum yum

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  31. We need to talk about, Joe!...I rated him at Swans. and following his first few games for Reds, I wondered if he might become our own, Paul Scholes. I never lost the faith even in his downturn in fortunes - imo, caused by injuries and roll changes as much as anything. So, its good to see him getting some recognition at last. Meanwhile, our hero (Emre), it has to be said, had a stinker last night. Hope it was just an aberration.
    On the team, they say, sometimes it's good to win ugly, well, a few times lately we've won lucky and that feels good too. Long may it continue.

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  32. I think you can add that he's not getting those through balls from PC & RS to get on the end of. Suarez was responsible for creating a huge amount of goals for DS, even if just creating space to work in.

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  33. No mate
    We're not for scaring anymore, we are not the same team of last ten or so years neither are we the team you guys played at home earlier this season

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  34. Totally agree mate, they've been poor all season. Giving Spurs a hiding doesn't mean a thing. The over-reaction to that win from them has been ridiculous. They just had to turn up to beat Spurs who were woeful on Sunday. I honestly think we'll boss the United game from start to finish

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  35. I understand your sentiment and I also agree that they have 27-65 million pound players capable of changing games..... But...

    We have suddenly acquired a 'team' one capable of whirring its cogs to grind a result as well as run like a Swiss watch with precision and timing.

    I just feel optimistic although yes we should always pay respect and never underestimate a team on the other hand we should also look at ourselves and realise we have no one to fear.....

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  36. They're not as well organised as Stoke were under Pulis.

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  37. You are duly forgiven as long as you can do the same for me :-)

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  38. I think he should be dropped for Sunday match.

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  39. At the moment I still think he's playing with an element of caution, which is natural when coming back from a double injury. He look a yard off the pace which gives me the impression he's not confident of running flat out. Same thing happened with Torres only with him it was permanent. Let's hope that's not the case with Daniel and it's just a case of him needing to get a few matches under his belt to get up to speed.

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  40. Consider it credited!!!!!!!!!!

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  41. Tony Pulis mixed Rugby and Football tactics together.LVG should be watching the Six Nations and taking notes:)

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  42. Forgiven.It's understandable.Our superb unbeaten run is bound to shape and boost confidence.

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  43. This match is too important for that kind of thing. But think about it. He doesn't start, imagine his desire and intensity when he does get on. He will be too much for them. From the start I am not so sure.

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  44. I'm not sure many are writing him off. They, like you I think Sturridge is just a bit rusty, but also think his intensity is not ecen close to Sterling's right now. Do can we afford a rusty player not pressing as hard as someone else might?

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  45. To be honest mate, I can't believe we are even talking about playing one or the other player. Obviously they should both play because they are two of our best players, along with Coutinho they are our best attacking players.

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  46. How about the clever pass for Henderson?

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  47. I share the same sentiments as you and really hope that he does not end up the same way as Torres .

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  48. Spot on couldn't agree more. It's really a mute point if you ask me they both have to start as they are quite simply our best attacking players.

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  49. Agree totally ,that's what made them unstopable

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  50. This match is far too important for sentiment. We can't afford any slip ups so there is absolutely no chance of BR allowing him to choose his playing time. Would be very surprised if he starts.

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  51. Coutinho --- Sterling --- Lallana up front

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  52. Please Brendon. DON'T play Gerrard. His head is already in Dixie.

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  53. I voted to start Sturridge on the bench at the weekend. Our best performances this season have come with an attacking triumvirate of Sterling, Coutinho, Lallana IMO.
    To be honest I haven't been particularly impressed with Sturridge's attitude in the last few games, i don't think he's pressed particularly well. Good bit of fire power to come off the bench too

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  54. This sentiment is far too important for that match.

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  55. Agree on bigger desire, still not enough to not start him..

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  56. This sentiment is far too important for that match

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  57. Wonder why a post is pending? Because I mentioned Paul Scholes favourably or the use of the word sti*ker?

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  58. Gratuitous filth is banned so it has to be the reference to Sch*les

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  59. What are you on man?

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  60. You get an automatic up vote for use of the word 'triumvirate' :-)

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  61. Jaimie, you sometimes let reputation get in the way of facts. Sturridge has hardly even been half his best. While the Swansea game was an improvement, he still overall looks a bit lethargic. This is why I really find it hard whether to pick Sterling or Sturridge, because Sterling on the hand is much better at pressing (at the moment), and he caused the United defence loads of trouble. If he actually knew how to finish more consistently, we probably would have won that game. But yes, the temptation to start Sturridge is there, simply out of the hope that he suddenly galvanises into electric life for a huge game.

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  62. I think he has been warming up. It was mentioned a couple of times while he was out....he is basically a write-off for the season. After so many months and couple of different problems he will need to feel his way back into it. With Rodgers always looking at the future he will play him to aid him, as well as for his abilities.

    With this game....I think we will win. It won't be a walk over. I think we will be nervous due to he magnitude. But I think this sort of game is one Sturridge needs to kick himself off with. The pressure will be too high to be reluctant (which I feel he has been). He will need to take chances attempt the difficult and press hard, all of which he can do naturally. I say play him and Sterling and Couts. If it's not working we have a manager willing to change, and the players to accommodate.

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  63. Both Sturridge and Sterling have had a few poor games in recent weeks. But I have to admit the team looks faster and more fluid without Sturridge in it, but Sterling needs 10 chances before he scores. So at the moment neither player is living up to the hype surrounding them. The key to the United game will be if all the players on the pitch are performing to their ability, if they play like they did against Swansea in the first half then we will be 3-0 down at half time. We need to attack, attack, attack from the whistle and work hard for the entire game, United beat us 3-0 when they were in transition, they are much improved since then, of course as are we.

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  64. Sentiment? Gerrard wouldn't even agree with you on that!

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  65. Nicolas Chamberlain12:20 am, March 18, 2015

    Sturridge played well against Swansea. He didn't score but he had his moments of brilliance. Sterling looks a bit out of shape because of the problems with his contract negotiations, but both players should start against United. I think people are overreacting about Sturridge. I think the amount criticism is quite unfair. He gave Sterling one clear cut chance and he was involved in Henderson's lucky goal.
    Carra is a good pundit but sometimes he should shut his overcritical mouth. He is just wining for the sake of wining.
    I think we should start with Gerrard, Stering and Sturridge and I also hope that Arsenal will never win the cup with the big ears;)

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  66. After all those gilt-edgers chances which Sterling got against United in the game at Old Trafford, how can somebody seriously advocate for him to play in the same position against the same opponent a few months later? Has he proved that he has improved his shooting since then? The answer is an emphatic NO!!!!! Sturridge is by far the better striker and so it is clear that what Carragher is saying is total nonsense once again.

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  67. Nicolas Chamberlain12:23 am, March 18, 2015

    We look toothless with Sterling as our main striker.
    He is a light weight.
    Sturridge is all round and he also provides the killer pass we desperately need.

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  68. Mate did you see rat-face - sorry I meant garry neville on monday night football?
    he almost blew a bollock when he saw swansea try their level best to nullify us in our attack - we got around it mind - so they can go shove it, but neville looked like charlie when he found the golden ticket as he threatened sending louis van haal a dvd of swans play in the first half.....I almost pissed myself....!


    oh my god - neville is supposed to help England win euro and world cups! He said it himself no one can work out how to play against us and even when they did at swansea Brendan changed it by a simple push of Coutinho by 5-10 yards forward for them to disintegrate into pieces.....


    Jock, we really shouldn't buy into the hype as you say - neither are Man U who they think they are, and neither are the umpteen ex-players, helpers, collaborators etc, including neville and van haal any good tactically - they've just been sooo lucky this season.


    Like you I'm so hoping we come out all guns blazing and put them in their place from the off.....

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  69. Leave markovic off the starting team. He just runs until he's at the feet of the defender 95% of the time and then loses possession 95 % of the time. Is Ibe ready to come back?

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  70. The more I watch, I am convinced that Mamadou is going to be a hell of a players. With that physique & power, he has unreal ball skill for a CB, great in dribbling, passing & probably one of the best in air.


    Looking at the squad, I just get a feeling that Allen is the weak link. What about Sakho playing as a DM & Johnson or Moreno as LB & Lallana as Left mid-field?

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  71. Totally agree. We waited so long for his return , now he suggests we drop him to the bench?!? Ludicrous! He must start!!!!!

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  72. It is so bad he did not think it was necessary to ban it as no one would ever dare to use it ;-)

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  73. Allen has been good in last 4-5 games and has been one of the best performers in the team. Moreno is playing wingback, you couldn't put him as one of the back three CB's as he can be caught out of position on occasions that will cost the team and he is better in a role where he can get forward and join the attack.

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  74. No Ibe is still out for a while yet.

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  75. So you say its nonsense but doing what he suggests in this game got a victory vs the better Manchester side. Can't be that bad a plan then can it?

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  76. Ah, so that's what the "c" stands for! ;-)

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  77. It's a total nonsense mate, sterling need about 12 chances to score you 1goal so why would even contemplate that? I think the only reason plays him in that position when sturriedge was unavailable is due to his work rate.he can also stretch defenders, somthing both lambert and balo lacks

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  78. Its not a nonsense to suggest Sterling start and Sturridge on the bench for the reason i gave you. It worked against Man City and the team performance was excellent. So why is it so hard to see why that could be the best option vs United? Yes Sturridge is the better finisher, nobody is questioning that but if his lack of pressing etc means that we don't get much of the ball then we wont create the chances so its a catch 22 situation. Its all about weighing it up and its far from nonsense to suggest that starting with Sturridge on the bench could benefit the team, have an option, we all have those but its not a stupid idea by any stretch of the imagination.

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  79. No player must start. Its the best players to manage the particular game and opponents. Horses for courses ...

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  80. Sorry guy. If we bench Sturridge, we already conceding defeat.He's our number one hitman and he's fit and ready. We need to go for the jugular.The thought of benching him for such a match is ludicrous.We toothless without him. If you think we'll grind out something as we have been without him, guess again. United are the number one grinders this season.They'll pip us if it comes to that. We need to be precise,definitive, decisive and clinical or we'll come short. Mark my words.

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  81. What won us the Citeh game, and why we looked so good, was the fluid, high tempo and high pressure game. The key forward in that? Lallana. Covered more ground than any other player on the pitch (Hendo second and Allen third).

    I'm still not convinced by Lallana's end product. As silky as he looks, and as much as commentators love him, his chance creation/assists/goals return is poor.

    But we're not going to beat manyoo with a single second of individual brilliance. It may get us a goal. There may even be 2 seconds of brilliance and 2 goals. But it still won't win us the game.

    90+ mins of in yer face, denying time on the ball, denying space in which to play, tracking runners, closing defenders/keepers (and thereby winning cheap ball) is what will win us the game. If we do that for 90 minutes they won't score and we will have the chances from their errors. Exactly as we did to Yaya and Kompany (& company).

    That isn't Studge's game. Even if it was he still doesn't look fit enough (or perhaps confident enough in his muscles/recovery) to do it. Yet. (Evidence the ball that Fabianski had to chase down outside his box, that Studge gave up on, then halfheartedly made a show of running towards.)

    Studge firing and in top condition is an automatic no-brainer for starter. On Sunday (and probably against Arsenal too) our front line needs to be Sterling, with Lallana+Coutinho behind. (Or even Lallana leading with the others behind.)

    With Stevie and Studge as options off the bench we should be well set even if we're not winning with 25 mins to go.

    PS: Didi has said today the same as Carra.

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  82. And what I should have said is: the high tempo pressing game only works if EVERY member of the team does it. A single player not doing it, allowing an easy out ball (i.e. a 'spare' player on the opposition) simply means the rest of your team gets tired whilst you never win/keep the ball.

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  83. Sturridge is a born goalscorer, Sterling is not a goalscorer and never will be I would actually drop Sterling to the bench and put Lallana in with Marko wing back. Sturridge will get better service then.

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  84. I get the feeling he is conserving energy after his lay off, but he is pressing the ball less than before and never was the best anyway. Trying too hard methinks, he needs to do the simple things till he's truly 100%

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  85. Damn right mate I've got images of us just swarming all over them

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  86. Marc Anthony in the goal...

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  87. never once again played RS at striker please........

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  88. B Rodgers should start D Sturridge(25) on the bench.


    And he should play R Sterling(20) upfront again, Lallana(26) and Coutinho(22) should be able to cause the likes of Carrick(33), Fellaini(27) Herrera(25) the run around at Anfield.


    And i am hoping Markovic(20) uses his pace, skill and speed to good effect at every opposition against D Blind who may line up again on the left hand side as a left back.


    Hopefully this time if Sterling(20) gets three good chances he buries at least two of them.


    Team that B Rodgers should start against Man United on Sunday:


    Mignolet


    Can Skrtel Sakho
    Markovic Moreno


    Allen Henderson


    Coutinho Lallana


    Sterling

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  89. Et tu Brutus

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  90. Not forgetting our Titus Sakhondronicus at the back.

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  91. Hear, hear! I, too, rate Joe since his time at Swans.

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  92. So basically it's between a rusty worldie and an erratic but flair-filled teenager. Hmm.

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  93. Ha ha. Keeping it 'Titus at the back' is a good idea ;-)

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