Posts Tagged ‘daniel Sturridge’

Football

Is Daniel Sturridge the answer to Liverpool’s striking problems?

By Stefano on January 4th, 2013

Our new Liverpool FC correspondent David Owens thinks Sturridge has a role to play, but there is still a lot more work to be done.

There was a time “back in the day” when 15 players was all you needed in a season to win a First Division Championship – kids, ask your dads or check the internet, and you will find that in season 1978/79 the then European Champions Liverpool FC only used 15 players all campaign to win the Championship, and 2 of those players only played 2 and 4 games. This was indeed also a record breaking season of 68 points won (when it was 2 points per win – this would now equate to 98 points), and 16 goals only conceded in 42 games no less. Ah the good old days…

The world has indeed changed in the 34 years since then, mainly that the Championship is now the Premiership. Significantly though, the intricacies of the modern game in terms of club ownership, management structures, agents, player contracts, transfer deadlines all make the game a lot more difficult to run than it should be – a necessary evil sadly. It was this complication that meant that one of the most celebrated and mass supported football clubs in the world were left at the end of the 2012 summer transfer window with an embarrassingly inadequate number of proven quality forwards to cope with the demands of a Premiership season in the modern era.

The specific reasons for this, and where any fault lies is only known by those involved, and could be speculated on until the cows come home – in short a lack of true club leadership, sound advice and very poor planning all contributed – and to be honest, Liverpool FC find themselves lucky to be handily placed in 8th and still with an outside chance of gaining a 4th place Champions League qualifying spot, so coveted by Arsene Wenger each year. Liverpool are fortunate that this is a poor Premiership, that the emergence of Raheem Sterling has been premature, but mainly indebted to the outstanding form of the usual suspects Messrs Gerrard and Suarez.

However, Brendan Rodgers has got his act together, work was done in December and on 2nd January, Liverpool fans received a new year’s gift that was much expected in the form of Daniel Sturridge from Chelsea for the highly common transfer fee of £ undisclosed….. Problem solved?

Let’s look at this question in 3 ways – Player, Team, Squad….

Is Daniel Sturridge the right player? A difficult question to answer because at 23 you can hardly say he has been a regular anywhere – as a kid at Man City he showed many glimpses of his clear talent; at Chelsea initially he hardly seemed to get a kick, yet surprisingly scored 5 in 20 games while winning Premiership and FA Cup winners medals; he spent a successful 6 month loan at Bolton when in most Bolton fans eyes he kept them in the Premier League for one more year – and his goal record of 8 goals in 12 games is indeed impressive – as was his pace and power and clear ability shown in a struggling poor side. He finished last season with 13 goals in total, again impressive given he was third or 4th in line behind Anelka, Drogba and Torres and played many of his games in a wider role under AVB and Di Matteo. His performances for Team GB last summer again reminded fans of his abilities… so based on all that, at 23, Liverpool have spent their cash on an English striker with the best years ahead of him, with experience, with a knack of goals and hopefully a point to prove.

Will Sturridge fit into the current first XI? – Good question, Luis Suarez – the Premier League’s top scorer has been playing fantastic all season as a central striker, Sturridge is a central striker – despite his over-use out wide by Chelsea. Given Brendan Rodgers’s desire to develop a 4-3-3 type system at Anfield it would appear a conundrum – or does it? Teams rarely play the same XI week in week out, so there will be weeks they play together and some they don’t. The key to this question is Suarez. Love him or loathe him you cannot deny him – Suarez is a player, he never gives up, must be a nightmare to defend against, but in truth is a very frustrating central striker. Suarez loves to roam, he goes where the ball is, tries to cause mayhem and make something happen for the team – but there have been far too many times this season when Liverpool have needed a striker to finish off the results of Suarez creative efforts, so there is every chance a place for Sturridge in the first XI will improve the team’s output and results, with him as the central figure of the attack, and Suarez in tandem roaming, creating and scoring.

Where does the Sturridge signing leave Liverpool’s squad… in a word or 2 – still short. Look at Man U – 4 high quality strikers, Man City 3 or 4, Liverpool now have 2. Even with summer 12 purchase, the Italian Fabio Borini nearing fitness after injury, reality is it is still only 2, because even Brendan Rodgers admitted Borini was one for the future. Another “for the future”, Adam Morgan, is being loaned out to Rotherham for experience, and the once “for the future” Danny Pacheco now seems in that bracket of “surplus to requirements”, so the expectation and hope of Liverpool fans is for another signing or loan deal in the forward department – indeed I believe a majority of Liverpool fans would not be unhappy to see Andy Carroll back, although he may carry too much media focus to return just yet. Of course the assumption is that the rest of Liverpool’s squad is up to scratch, which in reality it is not. There is a lack of regular goals from midfield; more creativity is needed in the squad; better defensive cover and despite recent returns to form and promise shown, Messrs Henderson, Downing and Enrique need to show a higher standard more consistently, in more games with more assists and more goals to finally cement a place as first team options who you trust to deliver.

So is Daniel Sturridge the answer for Liverpool FC, not really…. But take yourself back to your school days and those exam questions you’d get which started “this is a 3 part question”… Brendan Rodgers has just answered part “a” pretty well, however answers to parts “b and c” will be tougher, are worth more marks, and so may take more time to solve, and in truth he may need the input of the owners to fully solve them in terms of cold hard cash…. And the ownership situation is one for another day.

However, another run of 8 goals in 12 games from Sturridge, coupled with a better consistent team performance could yet deliver Liverpool some form of European Football next season, and if it is the Champions League, then the Sturridge signing could well be the catalyst to something significant.

Pic from Wikipedia



Football

Transfer update – Liverpool sign Sturridge which means Ba move to Chelsea back on

By Stefano on January 2nd, 2013

Big news in the last hour. Liverpool FC have confirmed that they have signed Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge. There is no news yet on the terms of the deal but Sturridge has said

“I am humbled and happy to be here. Brendan Rodgers said he sees me here for a long time – and I also see myself here for a long time. I’ve not signed here to play for a couple of years and then move on.

“I’ve signed to be here for as long as possible. It’s a humongous club – for me, one of the biggest in the world – and to have the fans and world-class players we have here is amazing.”

Sturridge scored 13 times for Chelsea last season, including 11 in the Premier League, but an injury has limited his role this year.

Sturridge’s transfer means that the Demba Ba move to Chelsea is apparently back on. Newcastle United issues this on their website an hour or so ago.

The club have given the player permission to speak to Chelsea FC and therefore he will not be included in the squad for tonight’s (Wednesday) game against Everton.

Chelsea are thought to have made an offer in excess of £7 million which triggers Ba’s release clause. Infostrada recently tweeted “Demba Ba (36) has scored 2x as many PL goals since arriving in PL in Jan 2011 than Fernando Torres (18) since his move to #CFC in Jan 2011.”

So Chelsea fans – is this the striker you have been waiting for?

 



Football

Question marks over Liverpool targets – Ince, Huntelaar and Sturridge

By Stefano on December 20th, 2012

It does seem as if things are never straightforward for Brendan Rodgers in his bid to strengthen the Liverpool squad, for three players who he has been targeting all now appear to have other options than joining the Reds.

One of the Red’s top striking targets Klass Jan Huntelaar, who was yesterday apparently in talks with Arsenal, now might be staying at Schalke after all. Two German papers DerWesten and kicker said the the striker, who has an incredible track record in the Bundesliga, would be staying with the club and that a new deal would be announced this week.

Meanwhile the journey to sign Liverpol’s other main striking target Daniel Sturridge appears to have hit a bit of a hurdle. The Daily Mail reports that there is a sticking point in the amount of money that the club would have to pay to the player’s agent. Liverpool spent £31.3million on agents fees since 2008 – only Chelsea (£31.8m) and Manchester City (£39.02m) have paid more in the same period

Finally Goal are suggesting that the done deal to sign Thomas Ince might not be so concrete after all and that Manchester United might try and scupper the deal with a bid of their own. The club needs a box to box midfielder to reppace the well, irreplaceable Paul Scholes.




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