Poor old Daniel Sturridge.
He’s endured a torrid time with injuries in the last 18 months, and after finally fighting his way back to fitness, he is now receiving entirely unjustified criticism from some sections of our fanbase.
Yes, he is a long way short of the player we saw in 2013-14, but having not had a pre-season to speak of, it’s entirely understandable. We should be supporting him and helping him as he tries to rediscover his undoubtedly world-class talents.
Instead some of us insist on lashing out at him – something surely won’t be helping his already fragile confidence.
John Aldridge has now become the latest ex-Red to speak out in his favour, saying that if he found his confidence then the goals would quickly follow.
“I think the way he took [the first half chance] shows there is a little lack of confidence with Daniel at the moment. Usually, you’d expect him to take a touch, pick his spot and find the corner. But he rushed it, blasted it first time and hit it straight at the ‘keeper.
“I think you can tell that he’s not at 100% yet. It’s maybe taking him a little longer to get that explosiveness back in his game, and I think that’s frustrating him.” (via Echo).
The fans in the stadium gave him a standing ovation when he came off – and rightly so. Despite his low levels of match sharpness, he’s still managed to score three goals in six weeks (vs Aston Villa, Southampton, and Man Utd).
Let’s hope he can find his confidence, enjoy a problem-free summer, and come back in August will all guns blazing.