Liverpool's Daniel Sturridge Maturing into World Cup Match-Winner for England

Glenn HoddleFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2014

VALE DO LOBO, ALGARVE, PORTUGAL - MAY 21:  Daniel Sturridge poses for a picture after a press conference at the England pre-World Cup Training Camp at the Vale Do Lobo Resort on May 21, 2014 in Vale Do Lobo, Algarve, Portugal.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

If Daniel Sturridge hits peak form at the World Cup for England, Roy Hodgson will have a match-winner on his hands.

The Liverpool striker is capable of the unexpected, and that is an essential gift at the highest level in football.

Coming up with the unexpected can make a real difference, just as he did so successfully with England's opener against Peru at Wembley, which was the launch pad for the 3-0 win after struggling to make a breakthrough.

Sturridge has been given the No. 9 shirt, which illustrates the enormous confidence Hodgson has in a player who has improved so much with his move to Liverpool.

The Anfield player has quick feet, and that little flick he produced against Stoke City in January to create a goal for Luis Suarez proved to me that he has the gift to unlock defences.

It has taken a long time for Sturridge to sort out when he should be trying the unexpected and whether or not he is in the right areas to do it.  

You can't always expect it to come off, and he shouldn’t be disheartened when it doesn’t.  

For further evidence of that, Sturridge need only look at his Liverpool strike partner. Not all of Suarez's tricks will come off, but he keeps trying because he has confidence in his own ability.  

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Luis Suarez (R) and Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool prepare to kick off during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Live
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

You have to make things happen in the final third of the field. Suarez can do that, and so can Sturridge after being given license to do it at Liverpool.

I think the penny has finally dropped with Sturridge at Liverpool. He was sold on by both Manchester City and Chelsea despite his enormous talent, which suggests there was a problem more about attitude and application than his ability. But I have always believed in his talents as a goalscorer.


LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 30:  Liverpool Manager Brendan Rodgers speaks to Daniel Sturridge during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on March 30, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Brendan Rodgers will have warned Sturridge that he had to make a go of it at Anfield, and he has done.  I'm sure plenty of people have been telling him things over the years, but finally he has taken that advice on board.

Sometimes you have to move on even from top clubs to find your self-confidence and to grow and learn from your experiences.

Sturridge probably didn’t realise how good he could become if he took on board some of the things that his coaches had been telling him, but suddenly it has started to come together.

It might also have a lot to do with the way he is being played with both club and country. He is playing in his right position, and you can tell by his body language that he feels far more comfortable.


LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29:  Daniel Sturridge of Chelsea (C) is congratulated by Ashley Cole (R) and Salomon Kalou as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers at Stamford Bridge on April 2
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Sturridge appeared to rebel against playing in wide positions, perhaps never feeling he was trusted to play in his natural position at City or Chelsea.

However, his performances and goals in the Premier League last season show that he is in the groove and ready to make a big impact in this World Cup.

Sturridge has the potential to be England's most exciting forward in Brazil.


Glenn Hoddle is part of the star-studded ITV team for the World Cup while he is also a leading pundit with Sky. He is technical director of F30, which staged the highly successful Lonsdale London Legends Cup. Read more on Glenn Hoddle on