When he’s fit, there are few better strikers in football than Daniel Sturridge. Which is why it was easy to believe rumours that Roy Hodgson would start the Liverpool man on Thursday ahead of Harry Kane, who had looked off the pace in his first match at the Euros.
Hodgson didn’t, choosing to try againwith Kane. It wasn’t the right choice, as England failed to get a foothold in the first half and entered the break down to a Gareth Bale free kick. The second half, though, belonged to Sturridge, who was introduced immediately following the break to immediate effect.
"It's a great feeling, unbelievable,” Sturridge told the press following the late victory. “It's a beautiful feeling to represent your country in a great rivalry. It's great. There's one more game in the group to go so no one's getting too excited but the atmosphere is unbelievable and the togetherness as well.”
Sturridge played in a cross that fell to Jamie Vardy for the equaliser shortly after the restart, and he was consistently England’s most dangerous player in the attacking third. What took place around him often seemed disjointed, all effort and no end product, but Sturridge looked lively and dangerous.
Now, though he won’t presume to tell the manager what to do, he will be expecting to start the final group game against Slovakia on Monday. Everybody watching on will be expecting him to start. When fit, Daniel Sturridge is England’s best striker. And he again showed that on Thursday.
"It's a great feeling to help the boys win the game and hopefully we can go through,” Sturridge added. “My brother travelled over here with my cousin, and for them to experience it is a great feeling. Will I start against Slovakia? That's the gaffer's decision. I'll just perform to the best I can in every game."