Liverpool manager defends decision to play Daniel Sturridge in wide role
Jurgen Klopp claims there’s no problem with Sturridge after the latter bemoaned being fielded in a wide position
August 25th, 2016
You might have thought that two goals against Burton would have put a smile on the face of Daniel Sturridge although the Liverpool forward has spoken out after Jurgen Klopp has decided to use him in a wide position.
Sturridge was played in that role at Turf Moor last weekend and came off the bench to score a brace at the Pirelli Stadium, with the England international at pains to point out that he’s primarily comfortable in a centre forward position.
“Of course it is more difficult for me to play wide. I’m a centre-forward,” said Sturridge. “In the modern day game you have to try and be flexible but everyone knows my best position.
“Everyone knows where I enjoy playing the most. I’m a player who plays on instinct, and in the middle I have clarity on movements and things that I have been doing for years. I am on autopilot there. You just do things because you are used to doing it.
“But when you are out wide, you have got to worry about different things. It’s just a different way. The way you move, the way you play – it is all different. You can’t play the same as you do as a centre-forward.”
“I have to do a job for the team. That’s not saying I am happy to do it. That’s saying I have got to do a job for the team. It’s a team game. If I am put in that position, I have to play there.”
However, Klopp claims that Sturridge will be used mainly as a centre forward this season, with the German hoping to see all types of goals scored from his player this term.
“I think both goals [against Burton] he scored inside the box so he was not on the wing in this moment – that is flexible football. That is how football works, it is not a fixed position [where you] stay outside and wait until you get the ball – especially not in Daniel’s case.
“When a striker plays in the centre it makes no sense so you have to change positions. Daniel is a very smart player in hiding himself in positions where it is not easy to defend and it is very often in a wing position. When he is not involved any more in defending you need a smart striker who takes the centre-half and moves them into a position where they don’t feel comfortable. It is only a starting position for the next offensive move for my team.”