Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has revealed that he is happy to see star striker Daniel Sturridge being angry that he was subbed off against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, according to reports from the Mirror.
Sturridge has struggled with injuries for much of the season, but finally looks back to his best after starting his third Reds game in succession while also featuring in England’s friendlies during the international break.
And against Spurs, the former Chelsea centre-forward set up Philippe Coutinho’s goal at Anfield on Saturday, but was then hooked off by Klopp with 18 minutes remaining in the fixture.
The 26-year-old was visibly angry with the decision, but the German manager claims that he was delighted to see that kind of passion in his player.
“I like this – as long as he doesn’t come off the pitch and do something really strange, like kicking me from behind!” Klopp said.
“I saw that he was not happy, because I’m not blind. But that’s not a problem, because if he came off and (celebrated) something would be really wrong.
“I think that’s completely normal — especially with the quality of Daniel Sturridge.
“He has to think, ‘Leave me on the pitch and I can decide the game’. You have to think ‘Yes, I’m the best’. That’s true, but in this moment we needed other help in the game.
“We needed ways behind the [Tottenham] line. We needed Divock Origi’s physical strength, so I changed.
“I could have changed Adam Lallana and gone with two strikers but in my opinion — and only my opinion counts — it didn’t make sense, so that’s it.”
The game ended in a 1-1 draw after Harry Kane equalized for the Lilywhites, with the result having a huge impact on the Premier League table as Leicester City went on to beat Southampton 1-0 to go seven points clear at the top.