While it’s fair to say that Sturridge has his fair share of critics; he can rest assure he has an ally in me. When you consider that Sturridge has managed to deliver at every level starting from school boy level all the way up to international (where he came on as sub and got man of the match), I find it bemusing that Chelsea fans don’t rate him higher.
His form for Bolton emphasized exactly what Sturridge is capable of when playing in his preferred centre forward role, scoring 8 goals during his stay at the Rebook stadium. While his impressive tally of 13 goals last season (more than Welbeck and Carroll both of whom ended up at Euros) from the wing appears to be overlooked by vast amounts of Chelsea fans, especially when he ended last season with the same amount of goals as Drogba.
Traditionally strikers are meant to be selfish and never track back, so it’s harsh to criticise Sturridge for not always delivering on these elements of his game. While I’m not saying that the criticism of Sturridge isn’t justified, I’m just stating that people should take into account that AVB played Sturridge out of position as a right winger, so it’s only natural that certain weaknesses of his game will be exposed. Imagine if Hernandez, Defoe or Drogba played right wing? They all arguably would struggle to impress to the same level Sturridge did at times last season. Which is the reason why criticising a player who’s doing a job for the team by playing out of position and still managing to score goals baffles me greatly.
People talk about Sturridge’s attitude, but our new ‘golden boy’ Hazard has upset French and Belgian media on nermious occasions with his arrogant personality. However Sturridge’s antics don’t come close to those of Hazard’s. The only thing Sturridge can be guilty of is, not tracking back all the time and waiting patiently for the last three seasons for a chance to play in his natural position. Hardly attitude is it?
Okay he might be greedy, but surely that can be forgiven considering the amount of goals he scored last season. Has anyone ever thought that he’s just a young player eager to make a impression at a big club? I personally thought that he was trying to over-impress at times last season, as he attempted to catch the attention of Di Matteo and AVB, so they would give him a chance up front.
Instead Chelsea fans should draw on the positives of Sturridges game, he’s quick, tricky, fearless and confident. All trademarks qualities of Chelsea’s new evolutional blueprint. Should Di Matteo give into Sturridge’s demands and play him as striker for the coming season, we could potentially be looking at one of the most exciting strikers in the Premiership. However should this not happen I would happily eat humble pie and all criticism of him will finally be justified. But until then lets support our younger players especially when they are English.Follow @Lolo_CFC