Monday 26 September 2016

Sturridge told to stop moaning and accept new 'flexible' role

Chris Bascombe

Published 26/08/2016 | 02:30

Daniel Sturridge
Daniel Sturridge

Jurgen Klopp insisted that he has no intention of using Daniel Sturridge as a winger as he called for the England striker to adapt to "flexible football".

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Sturridge says he is not happy at playing in a wide role, but Klopp shrugged off the complaints and said his fluid tactics were still enabling the forward to utilise his skills in the right areas.

"I don't want to play him on the wing, why should I?" said Klopp. "It's not like I say 'go here, go there always'. Of course, he can start there, of course he can play there, but in the decisive moments, he needs to be involved in all the finishing situations.

"Both goals against Burton Albion he scored from inside the box, so he was not on the wing in this moment. That's flexible football, but you need to find a formation for players to start in.

"In 2016, football is like this. Cristiano Ronaldo plays on the wing but is always in the box when the ball is in and around it."

Klopp said it was inevitable that players would state a preference about where to play when asked, but it was the broader needs of the side that were of most concern.

"We don't have these defined positions in football any more," said Klopp. "Of course, you have the defensive ones with a bit more responsibility, but you can say everyone is responsible for everything.

Offensive

"Ask all my offensive midfielders what's your favourite position and they'd say a '10', but no-one knows what a 10 is. . . just that 10 is always involved in the game.

"It's the same with Milly (James Milner). Ask him why he does not like to play full-back and he'd say because he's not involved in the game. But in our games the full-back has nearly 70pc of the ball. So don't think about it - just play football."

Asked if he had talked through Sturridge's role with him, Klopp said: "Why should I explain to a player? We speak on the pitch, in tactical training, about what they have to do. It's 2016 and you're asking about a player who scores two in the centre about how he feels when he sometimes plays on the wing?

Read more: Klopp needs to rise above another false dawn

"When we have talked, there's no issue about this. It's about asking a question, getting an answer and making a big deal of it, or not thinking of it at all.

"When Daniel plays as the No 9, in the centre, and just stays there - that makes no sense. You have to change positions. Daniel is a very smart player at hiding himself in positions where it's hard to defend and that's very often on the wing."

Sturridge may have the chance to make the position work again at Spurs tomorrow as Divock Origi is suffering from cramp. Emre Can is also a doubt. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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