2 Sep 2016

Legend blasts: 'Amazing' £30m Liverpool star isn't 'worthy' of 'starting' place under Klopp. Agree?

Last weekend, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp arguably insulted Daniel Sturridge by bringing him in the 87th minute against Spurs, a move that seemed designed to put the striker in his place after he publicly noted his preference to play as a central striker. In my view, Klopp should've started Sturridge for the game, but according to Reds legend Gary Gillespie, the manager got it absolutely right.

Speaking to the 5-Times Podcast this week, Gillespie dismissed Sturridge's goals against Burton Albion 'just tap-ins', and insisted:

“It’s down to Sturridge to prove that he’s worthy of a starting position, but he hasn’t done that. He’s a talented individual...but just doesn’t seem to be at it when he gets the opportunity to play.”

Right, so let's get this straight: Sturridge scores two goals prior to the Spurs game, and that isn't enough to 'prove' that he's 'worthy of a starting position'? Remind me: what is Sturridge's primary role in the team? It's to score goals, and he did that in the game immediately preceding Spurs. As such, how can he not be 'at it' when he 'gets the opportunity to play'?!

This make no sense whatsoever. Additionally, Gillespie's claim that Sturridge's goals were just 'tap-ins' shows (IMO) how he's bought into the media hype about Sturridge's alleged 'attitude'. Sturridge's second goal was NOT a 'tap-in' at all - he received the ball 15 yards out, took one touch to control the ball, and then hammered it into the net under pressure.

Why describe it as a 'tap-in' when it was anything but? Simple - like so many other fans, Gillespie has a negative view of Sturridge, and he'll twist the actual reality in a bid to make his argument fit his negative perception of the player.

Additionally, why is it a negative if Sturridge's first-goal is a tap-in? He still has to be in the right position, and show the desire to get to the ball. I don't recall Benteke, Balotelli, Coutinho, Firmino et al scoring many tap-ins; this type of goals is part of an effective striker's repertoire, and every goal counts.

Sturridge could've just moped around after coming on as a sub against lower-league opposition, but he applied himself and score TWO GOALS. That clearly shows a positive attitude to his job, yet no one gives him any credit for that.

If Ings or Origi had scored two goals against Burton, there would be calls for them to start the next game, yet with Sturridge, fans and pundits denigrate the player, perpetuate lame excuses about 'attitude', and fall over themselves to rationalist Klopp's decision to bring him on in the 87th minute against Spurs.

When fit, Sturridge is an absolutely fantastic striker, and the constant attempts to undermine him (by both fans and pundits) are ridiculous.

^ Sturridge: £30m-rated. Described as 'amazing' by Lucas Leiva.



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