The Liverpool striker’s most recent outings in a relatively short England career saw a continuation of the scintillating form that has seen Sturridge score 8 goals in 9 games so far this season for the Reds. Sturridge on Friday night gave Roy Hodgson everything he deserved for going offensive when a win was vital.
Sturridge is a player who has been the right man in the wrong place for much of his early career. Trying to break into sides such as Manchester City and Chelsea are virtually impossible, especially when they have so much financial power behind them. Sturridge without a question has presented great ability, the problem has been players such as Didier Drogba who were at the top of their game, keeping Sturridge further down the order. Many of his previous managers speak very highly of his abilities, none more so than Owen Coyle, the then Bolton manager who saw Sturridge net an impressive 8 goals in 12 games.
Currently England is unclear on a first choice striker. The days of Owen and Shearer are over, and England needs to look at who is going to lead the line next. Wayne Rooney has developed into more of a creative player sitting in the number 10 slot. Ricky Lambert, whilst effective, is more of an old-fashioned target man and up against the world’s elite this is not always successful.
Enter Daniel Sturridge, a player that gives teams something different. The modern striker needs to be able to offer more than just goals. Sturridge has shown at Liverpool he is more than adept at playing anywhere in a forward three. Although his best position is through the middle, his capacity to interchange with the left and right wing attackers gives opponents a lot more to think about.
Daniel Sturridge possesses many talents as a striker, send the ball to feet and he is able to hold up the play, and distribute to forward runners. Taking on defenders with a quick flick or a drop of the shoulder is arguably his most impressive trait; however it is his mean left foot that when given the room can be used to deadly consequences, as seen against Stoke on the opening day of this season.
There are two major factors in the development of Daniel Sturridge. First of all, Brendan Rogers has removed the selfish side of Sturridge’s game – throughout his career Daniel has often taken a shot rather than opt for the simple pass. From the start of this campaign there has been less of this, resulting in more clear-cut chances for the striker. The other aspect of Sturridge’s impressive game is his talent for creating partnerships. Since his arrival at Anfield he and Luis Suárez have developed a devastating combination, this season alone they have scored 5 goals in 2 games. Before Suárez returned from suspension, Sturridge had shown a great understanding with Philippe Coutinho until his unfortunate injury. Despite only playing together properly for the first time on Friday night, Sturridge and Rooney showed glimpses of the next partnership that may well be deployed at the World Cup.
In today’s modern game the classic number 9, the all out hero of the forward line, has disappeared and has been replaced by strikers who drop deeper and become more involved in the play. As more teams attempt to play the way of the Spanish and the Brazilians, playing the ball along the floor and building up the play through the middle, strikers have a more involved role to play and Daniel Sturridge certainly looks like providing that for club and country.