Daniel Sturridge was supposed to lead Liverpool AS (after Suarez). Brendan Rodgers was supposed to tailor his squad to the strengths of his striker, and in turn, that striker was supposed to take Liverpool, while not necessarily to the lengths and heights of their season last year, pretty darn close.
Yet both player and club have not been the same. Whether it is because of a regression to the mean, pieces not fitting in, or Rodgers being basically, a numpty, Liverpool have nosedived from their second place finish last season all the way to twelfth, with no cure in sight.
Likewise, Daniel Sturridge has followed up his 21 goal in 26 appearance performance of last year with a paltry one goal in three appearances so far this season – the England international hasn’t been able to stay healthy at all. So far this season, he’s been in the news solely for battling a slew of injuries and acting as a pawn in his club manager’s crusade against the “barbaric” regime of England manager Roy Hodgson.
Daniel Sturridge’s injury problems aren’t anything new, either. Since joining Liverpool in January of 2013, Danny Boy has suffered 13 injuries. It has gotten so bad recently that Liverpool have decided to launch an investigation into why that is. (Whether or not they publish the results should they implicate the club or go the FIFA route remains to be seen.)
Of course it doesn’t help Liverpool’s cause for Champions League qualification that their now embattled, frustrated manager as well as their eternally optimistic fanbase (minus Mohamed, of course) has been operating under the guise that when Sturridge comes back, everything will be back to normal. The team is playing a 4-2-3-1 formation that seems ideal for someone of Sturridge’s skillset, and the movements of the midfield band of three behind the striker are movements that are dependent on Daniel’s runs. But in order to salvage their season, Liverpool need to tailor their team to the talents they have on their roster right now, and not stick to lineups that require Daniel Sturridge to work.
In much the same way that Vladimir and Estragon wait endlessly for Godot, Liverpool have awaited the return of Daniel Sturridge. As anyone who has read that play knows, that wait was all for naught, or at the very best, left up in the air.
From the looks of things today, the wait for Daniel Sturridge seems to be going the same way.