30 Apr 2016

'Really disappointed': Carra/Owen blast Klopp for treatment of 'brilliant' £30m Liverpool star. Quit in the summer?

I've argued for weeks that Klopp's refusal to start Daniel Sturridge in the club's biggest games will end up hurting Liverpool, and that's exactly what happened last night at Villareal. Risible blind faith aside, it's clear that Klopp made a mistake, and Reds legends Jamie Carragher and Michael Owen are not amused by the manager's failure to utilise the club's most prolific goalscorer.

Reacting to Liverpool's performance, Carra barked:

"How long before people stop saying 'this front three played away at City'. Sturridge has got to come into the equation".

Carra is spot on here - that's the typical excuse used by fans whenever Coutinho, Firmino, and Lallana play in the same team.

The past is irrelevant - Sturridge is on fire *now*, and after five days rest, and four goals in five games, he should've started at Villareal. Firmino, on the other hand, had just 1 goal/0 assists in the seven games prior to Villareal.

Owen shared Carra's frustration, and when asked about Klopp's decision to ignore Sturridge, he told BT Sport:

"If I was Sturridge I'd be really disappointed. Actions speak louder than words and he must be disappointed with [Divock] Origi being out. You don't feel wanted when you're left out. It will leave a scar".

In his post-match press conference, Klopp offered the following (barely credible) excuse for ignoring Sturridge:

"In a 4-3-3 we didn't play with Daniel until now, so for today - this 4-3-3, 4-5-1, sometimes a diamond - it makes sense that the players played together before and that's why we decided for this lineup."

The idea that Sturridge can't fit into a 433 or a 'diamond' is absolute nonsense, especially since he *constantly* played in those formations under BR.

What amuses me the most is this: Everyone connected with Liverpool (fans, ex-players, managers etc) have constantly bemoaned Sturridge's injury absence, and exhorted him to get fit ASAP to help the Reds progress. Then, when he's finally fit, Klopp leaves him on the bench for the club's biggest games.

I can understand being cautious with Sturridge (i.e. not starting him on a Sunday after a 90-minute Thursday game), but it makes little sense to keep him on the bench for the biggest games of the season after five clear days of rest.

Bottom line: Klopp has ignored Sturridge for Liverpool's biggest games of the season (Dortmund x2; Villareal; Everton), and as Owen suggests, he'll probably feel unwanted right now, and if some big clubs come calling this summer, it won't surprise me in the slightest to see him quit the club.

In the long-term, given his injury history, that may be the best for both parties, but right now, whilst Sturridge is fit and available, Liverpool should be utilising him in a way that benefits the club, and that isn't happening.

^ Sturridge: £30m-rated

Author: Jaimie K


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