By Matthew Ramirez – @Matt_J_Ramirez
Let me stop you right there before you rub your eyes in disbelief. I know it’s been a while, but finally your prayers have been answered. I am back.
Yes I know, I missed you all too, I’ve been slightly busy with uni work but now I have returned to feed your eyes with my opinionated (and entertaining) little pieces for you.
Given that the Game of Thrones season finale was downright awful, I thought I might as well write something that perfectly parallels the disappointment of this final season in Westeros. Therefore, I give you Liverpool’s most disappointing player of the season, our very own Jon Snow, step up and claim your prize…. Daniel ‘Studgy’ Sturridge.
If you listen to our podcast, which you should, you will not be too shocked to read that I hold this opinion of our No.15.
Back in our 13/14 title charge, the man was essentially Jon Snow of season six. Reviving himself and demolishing all in his path, from Ramsey Bolton to David De Gea, Daniel Sturridge was winning battles and scoring goals left, right and centre.
His blistering season gave hope to Liverpool fans after the departure of Luis Suarez, as we thought to ourselves ‘nah, it’s all good, Studgy is the prince who was promised’. Well that didn’t prove to be the case at all.
SPOILER WARNING, although if you haven’t already watched the whole of season eight then it’s really on you…
In every season since, especially this latest one, Sturridge has been Jon Snow of season eight – he did next to nothing, much like Jon Snow – and, in a separate fact, I think we can all agree him being a Targaryen turned out to be absolutely pointless.
Sturridge started the season well, scoring with his first touch on his return to action against West Ham and scoring on his return to the Champions League against PSG – you could even liken it to riding a dragon. After this though, he basically became a background character, making the odd main appearance here and there but ultimately failing to live up to the hype.
Like Jon Snow killing the Mother of Dragons, Sturridge left us with some wonderful memories in his last season, such as his long range screamer of an equaliser against Chelsea. Ultimately though, he’s lost his place on the iron bench to his younger brother from another mother, Divock Origi, and he now finds himself banished beyond the Walls of Melwood.
The question now is, what next for our former King in the North?
One of the biggest criticisms of Dan the Man is his work rate – or lack of. The man doesn’t seem to want to put in the hard yards defensively. This doesn’t necessarily make him a bad player, it just means he doesn’t fit our system, or that of many possible suitors. I’ve heard it be said that Sturridge would be a great signing for a newly promoted team, but I disagree entirely.
Sides new to the top flight, with the exception of Wolves this season, tend to lack any star quality and usually end up fighting off relegation due to their hard-working nature. For this sole fact, Sturridge would be more useless there than he currently is at Anfield.
Apart from the fact that he would be expected to work hard, he also wouldn’t have the providers that he does now, which would logically see his goals drop further – he would be in real danger of becoming Darren Bent.
In my opinion, Studge should follow once again in Jon Snow’s footsteps and head North, more specifically to Newcastle and Rafa’s horde of Geordie wildlings.
Benitez seems to be building a relatively well-rounded side at St James’ Park. He has a number of technically-gifted and hard working players at his disposal, plus a couple of man-mountains.
If he is able to keep hold of Salomon Rondon, then I think acquiring Sturridge should be the next priority for the Spanish tactician, as they could form a lethal partnership. Sturridge has always fared better when he’s partnered up top, and with Rondon providing the muscle and the aerial domination, Sturridge would be the perfect man to dispatch his knock-downs.
If he doesn’t end up at Newcastle then it’s important that Sturridge chooses his next destination wisely. He’s still only 29 and if he finds form again, he could even be in with a chance of representing England at another major tournament. He’s made 160 appearances for the Reds and scored 67 goals, but now his Anfield watch has ended.