Jamie Carragher: Why I’m not impressed with Liverpool striker
The Liverpool legend believes Daniel Sturridge is a very different striker to the one Brendan Rodgers signed in 2013
Jamie Carragher says Daniel Sturridge deserves criticism after the Liverpool striker’s disappointing performance in their 1-0 loss to Southampton in the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final at Anfield on Wednesday night.
Liverpool were looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg at St Mary’s after Sturridge failed to seize his chance to impress on the south coast following a limited run of appearances in the 2016-17 Premier League campaign.
However, the England international endured another disappointing performance against the Saints at Anfield as the 27-year-old centre-forward missed two clear opportunities to break the deadlock in the second half.
Indeed, Sturridge registered four attempts on goal but three of those shots were off target as England goalkeeper Fraser Forster was largely untroubled in the Southampton goal.
The Liverpool striker scored 21 times in 29 games in the Premier League in his first full season at Anfield in the 2013-14 season but has struggled to replicate that form due to injuries.
Speaking to Sky Sports on Wednesday night, Sturridge’s former Liverpool team-mate Carragher delivered a blunt verdict on the England striker.
“Sturridge is a completely different player now to when he first came to Liverpool,” Carragher said.
“You could link him with Sadio Mane when he first came because the whole point of Liverpool buying Sturridge under Brendan Rodgers when I was at the club was that he gave us penetration in behind, he had pace.
“But there was one occasion in the game tonight where he fell over into the hoardings in front of The Kop and I thought he had to get that ball. I don’t know if his pace has completely gone or whether he’s that worried with injuries that he pulls out of something.
“More often than not you cannot question his finishing but he doesn’t do anything else in a game now, whereas he did when he first came. He’s had a really poor night in front of goal.”
Carragher added: “That’s the case with that type of striker now, if they’re not a target man, or don’t run in behind, everything has got to be put on a plate. So when he doesn’t score you’re basically down to 10 men because they are not offering anything else whatsoever.
“You have to criticise Sturridge tonight because he missed chances, but when you look at his Liverpool record – his finishing and goal-to-game ratio – it’s fantastic. But I’m talking about his pace and his overall game because when he doesn’t score it’s like playing with 10 men.”