There are defining moments in every football manager’s career. The treble for Sir Alex, which earned him his Knighthood. 9-on-the-run including the European cup for Jock Stein. The signing of Danny Sturridge – or rather the shuffling of the Liverpool pack to accommodate the new striker – may well be Brendan Rogers’ crux.
The facts speak for themselves, this season. Two-fold. Firstly, in the goal tally of Uruguayan goal machine Luis Suárez for Liverpool. Secondly in the position of Fulham, building their team around Dimitar Berbatov.
The arrival of Danny Sturridge at Anfield – a surprise only if you’ve not been following the Premier League for the last two months – looks set to see Brendan Rodgers drop the new signing straight into the role Suárez has excelled in all season.
Rodgers cites the decision as one made “For the common good of the team.” Not that I listen to the pillocks on Match of the Day that often, but they had a point over Christmas when they were discussing the impending arrival of Danny Sturridge then.
Danny Sturridge has a lot to live up to
Whilst Danny Sturridge has shown glimpses of his ability, he’s yet to prove it over a sustained period. That’s totally the opposite of Luis Suárez, who’s only one goal behind leading Premier League scorer Robin Van Persie of Man Utd. And let’s face facts, the Uruguayan’s achievement is made even more remarkable in such an inferior team.
You can argue the toss that Danny Sturridge has had to bide his time in a Chelsea team that has seen many managers and much competition during his time there. But even when the new Liverpool striker did find the net at Chelsea, his contributions never commanded him a regular team place.
And that was under any of the managers who’ve been in and out of Stamford Bridge this last five years.
Rodgers has apparently spoken to Luis Suárez about reprising the role he played at Ajax. A similar role that Wayne Rooney is most devastating in, playing just behind the centre forward(s). Let’s hope that the Uruguayan’s nose won’t be put too much out of joint, given his effectiveness this season. Without his 18 goals, Liverpool would be completely in the shit.
Building a team around one player can backfire
And talking of in the shit, Fulham look to be in worse condition this year than any season since making it back into the top flight. Dimitar Berbatov’s t-shirt, inscribed “Keep calm and pass me the ball”, sums up everything that is wrong about building a team around one player.
If that player doesn’t turn up, or is not contributing to the team week in, week out, that team struggles. Fulham’s win at West Brom was only their second in 13, underlined by a period during which Berbatov looked totally disinterested. Rest my case, no further questions, yer ‘onour.
For the record, Danny Sturridge has played only 7 Premier League games this season, pitching in with a solitary Premier League goal. What’s more, the most Premier League games he’s ever played in one season is 30. That’s hardly worth a £12M gamble, in my opinion.
Is Brendan Rodgers seriously contemplating shuffling the Liverpool pack, most notably blunting the cutting edge of Luis Suárez, to make way for the unproven Birmingham-born striker?
On this evidence, it looks that way. Furthermore, I’d suggest it’s make or break for both the manager and Danny Sturridge, otherwise they’ll both Kop an earful if it goes tits-up.
Have Your Say:
- Can Danny Sturridge become a Liverpool legend under Brendan Rodgers?
- Or will Liverpool pay the heaviest price for hoisting Luis Suárez out of the spotlight?