Jurgen Klopp has taken the blame for Daniel Sturridge’s behaviour following the final whistle on Sunday.
The striker played the full 90 minutes in the 3-1 defeat to Swansea City, but instead of going over to the travelling support at the end of the game to say thank you, Sturridge marched down the tunnel – clearly riled by the defeat and perhaps his own performance.
“If someone forgot to say thank you to the fans, then it’s my fault and nobody else’s,” the manager told Sky Sports.
“If you think we ignore the fans it’s not what we wanted. I went too immediately. Hopefully our fans know how close we are to them. After a game like this, he wants to leave and go home, recover and do a lot of things.”
Sturridge is having a difficult week, it’s fair to say.
The striker was on cloud nine following our draw with Newcastle, having scored three in three and hit top form – but he was left out of the Europa League semi-final defeat to Villarreal, and then made some unsavoury comments about how he isn’t ‘Liverpool until I die,’ reported in the Independent.
The 26-year-old failed to sparkle away to Swansea, and will have gone further down in the estimation of Liverpool fans following his end of game sulk…
Despite his poor outing in Wales, Sturridge will surely start Thursday’s return leg with Villarreal at Anfield.
We’re trailing 1-0, and need to score at least two goals to progress in normal time, so selecting our best finisher and most talented striker is surely a no brainer.
Klopp’s comments indicate that he wants to take some pressure off Sturridge and perhaps get back in the striker’s good books, with the forward obviously seething from last Thursday’s semi-final dropping.