Let’s Talk about Daniel Sturridge’s Goal in the Europa League Final

On a forgettable night for Liverpool fans, Daniel Sturridge’s sublime goal will be an awkward footnote, consigned to history as nothing more than a token goal as Liverpool come runner’s up to the might of Sevilla.

That’s not cool. Daniel Sturridge’s goal was far too good to be condemned as a ‘token effort’, it was an absolute worldy that proved once more that Sturridge, in terms of technical ability, is right up there with the very best the Premier League has to offer.

As Sturridge picks up the ball about 20 yards out, over near the left hand edge of the box, he is faced with three Sevilla defenders in front of him. As Alberto Moreno makes a truly lung bursting run on the overlap, Mariano moves his weight from his left foot to his right, offering up that glimmer of space for Sturridge to exploit so ruthlessly.

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The curl of the ball, the incredibly small margins of error, the timing of shot with space to find the far post left keeper and defenders standing in no man’s land, little more than spectators to a moment of magic. It was that good.

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And this is the great issue with Daniel Sturridge. When he is fit and healthy, Sturridge possesses an ability to score goals that cannot be taught. It is raw and it is instinctual.

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I’ve often had a discussion/heated debate about the merits of Daniel Sturridge, especially in comparison to Harry Kane and my argument is that they are incomparable if you reduce them to just strikers because they are different.

Harry Kane is a fantastic striker; the closest thing to Alan Shearer since Shearer himself and a player who seemingly will just score hatful’s of goals throughout his career. Come the Euro’s, you start Harry Kane because he is such a well-rounded striker who has an awareness of space and an ability to bring players into the game that England so desperately need to score goals.

Daniel Sturridge might not be able to hold the ball up as a ‘target man’, he is very injury prone and definitely going out to France behind Kane and Jamie Vardy in the goal getting pecking order but he brings something to the table that neither Kane or Vardy possess. Raw technical ability and last night’s goal best sums Sturridge up in my eyes.

The last season Sturridge was completely fit was when Liverpool came second in the Premier League, when Sturridge was playing alongside the now 3rd best player in the world – Luis Suarez. Even since that season though, when Sturridge has featured, however intermittingly, he has always scored goals. He has trickery, pace and how he shapes his foot around the ball makes him as unpredictable as he is dangerous. If Lionel Messi had scored that goal last night, we would all be lauding his genius.

This combination of technical ability and unpredictability makes Sturridge such an important 3rd option for England this summer. If Kane brings with him an awareness of space, of play around him and Vardy brings just an abundance of pace, Daniel Sturridge brings with him an ability in striking a ball that makes him clinical anywhere within 20 yards.

That goal last night is so much more worthy than a ‘token’ effort, it was simply awesome.

 

Rich, The Sweeper Football Blog

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