Jurgen Klopp is happy that Daniel Sturridge is unhappy at being substituted so regularly, the Daily Mail reports.
Ever since the striker’s long awaited return from injury, Klopp’s usually brought him off around the 60 or 70 minute mark, much to Sturridge’s disappointment.
Against Spurs at the weekend, he couldn’t hide it, and shook his head as he was slowly drudging off the pitch.
But Klopp was right to make the substitution. Sturridge wasn’t running the channels and it was sensible to use Divock Origi’s legs from the bench. The manager though has no problem at all with the negative reaction.
“I think that’s completely normal, especially with the quality of Daniel Sturridge,” Klopp began.
“He has to think “leave me on the pitch and I can decide the game”.
“That’s true, but in this moment we need other help in the game. We needed ways behind the line. We needed Divock’s physical strength so I changed.
“I could have changed Adam Lallana and gone with two strikers. But in my opinion, and only my opinion counts, it didn’t make sense so that’s it.
“I saw that he was not happy because I’m not blind,” Klopp added. “But that’s not a problem because if he came off and [celebrated] something would be really wrong.
“You cannot play football with this confidence when you are like we are. You have to think “yes, I’m the best”.
“I like this – as long as he doesn’t come off the pitch and do something really strange like kicking me from behind.”
It’s now up to Sturridge to do enough when he’s on the pitch to make it impossible for his manager to take him off it. He’s done reasonably since returning, but there is a lack of work-rate which irritates supporters when the rest of the team is pressing so intensely. Sturridge shouldn’t be made a pariah though, he’s potentially our best player on his day – it’s just getting to the point we need to see improved performances and body language.