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Former United Defender Weighs In On Liverpool’s Sturridge

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Rio Ferdinand tackles a seemingly intractable problem at the heart of Liverpool’s strikeforce.

Liverpool v Wolverhampton Wanderers - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The dome of Florence’s Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore.

Fermat’s last theorem.

Who shot J.R.?

These are just some of the most famous supposedly-intractable problems and inexplicable mysteries ever to have plagued human civilization. For supporters of Liverpool Football Club, a more pressing - but no less awkward - problem has emerged of late. What does the club do with Daniel Sturridge?

The striker’s struggles with match fitness have been more than well-documented, and they have been a cloud even when Sturridge was setting the league alight alongside Luis Suarez. It’s against the backdrop of Liverpool’s recent struggles that a slightly different question has taken shape, no longer focused solely on whether or when Sturridge can shake off the recurring issues. Now, the question is simply whether, even at full fitness, Sturridge can pose a similar threat as he once did.

Thankfully, there is a rarefied class of experts that is paid handsomely for resolving such questions: retired professional footballers. One such expert is former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand. In his Sunday Times column, Ferdinand articulated a solution for Sturridge’s issues that is at once brilliant as well as breathtakingly simple:

“Just go and do it.”

Hang on, you might be asking. What exactly does that mean, “just go and do it?”

If you don’t understand the advice, it’s probably because you’ve never played a day of professional football in your life, so some of this highly technical jargon is beyond your feeble comprehension. Luckily, Ferdinand elaborates upon his suggestion for Sturridge.

“Now is the time for the likes of Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge to grab the bull by the horns, come to the fore and say: ‘This is what I can do.’”

OK Rio, thanks for that, but we were really just talking about Daniel Sturridge, not sure why you brought Origi into this. Also, what bull are you talking about? Steve Bull hasn’t played for Wolves in almost eighteen years. Could you be a bit more specific as to what Sturridge should be doing?

“. . .now is the time to show his mettle, show his heart, and go out and show what he’s made of.”

According to Wikipedia, he’s probably made of about 65% water, but I’m not sure how that helps with the goalscoring thing. How about this, why don’t you just pick some other player and say “go play like that guy”?

People were hammering Pedro at the start of the season and now he’s one of Antonio Conte’s most important players and he has turned it round on the pitch, not by talking. Pedro’s a winner. He was integral to Barcelona’s great team; the first person to trigger their press in forward areas. He was a nightmare to play against.

There, that wasn’t so difficult was it? There’s your answer, Liverpool supporters. Your striker just needs to fill out some paperwork and change his name to Pedro Sturridge. And thank Ferdinand for this career-changing insight. Truly, not all heroes wear capes.