Who would ever have thought that there actually may have been some good to come out of Luis Suarez’ 10 match ban for biting Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic. Considering the fact that Liverpool actually played well during the ten matches that Suarez was banned for, John Barnes saw more value from the ban, Daniel Sturridge actually became a better player during that time.
Speaking on 5times.co, Barnes said:
What Liverpool have in Daniel Sturridge is a player more comfortable with himself, he is comfortable because he is scoring goals and he is loved. He had too much to prove at Chelsea in that if Fernando Torres was the top man he had to go and try to be that. Instead of doing what he did at his previous club and what he was doing in his first few games here, he can play the ball first time, he doesn’t always have to do something special. He has also have been aided by Luis Suarez being missing from the side, he wants to be number one and he has proved he is at that level, he felt marginalised at his former club because he was pushed out wide, that won’t happen here.
There is no doubt that Sturridge has become a better player at Liverpool. At Chelsea he was just being wasted by staying on the bench or playing out wide when he was called upon. Chelsea must be kicking themselves now for letting Sturridge leave as they now battle to find a proper striker. It is largely their fault as they should have had more faith in him and given him a fair chance.
Chelsea’s loss has turned out to be Liverpool’s gain. The Suarez ban put all the attention on Sturridge as some thought that Liverpool would fail to score without their number seven but Sturridge stepped up to the plate and grabbed the opportunity with both hands to show everyone that he can do just as good a job as Suarez. Now Sturridge has the opportunity to partner Suarez now that his ban is over and even then, many questioned how well a partnership it would be, but now we are seeing how fruitful it is.
They say everything in football happens for a reason. Yes the ban on Suarez was deemed harsh but inadvertently it helped bring out the best in Sturridge.