6 Feb 2014

£12m LFC star blasts: Unfair character slur 'annoys me a lot'. BR/Gerrard to blame?

Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge has vehemently rejected the accusation that he is 'arrogant', a label that seems to follow him around despite the fact that there's no real evidence to support it.

In an interview with the Anfield Wrap, Sturridge dismissed the notion the negative reputation he seems to have, but admitted that 'people have perceptions, and that's life'. He explained:

"The arrogant thing annoys me most - it annoys me a lot. I think it maybe comes from how relaxed I am on the pitch.

"People automatically have an opinion of someone of how they are; their body language or whatever"

I totally agree with this. I don't see any evidence to suggest that Sturridge is 'arrogant', or that he has an 'attitude' issue, and I can understand how frustrating it must be for him to be perceived that way.

The ironic thing is that ex-LFC players have fuelled the fire of this myth.

In a recent interview, Robbie Fowler admitted that he'd had worries about Sturridge's attitude. He told LFC.com:

"He [Sturridge] moved to lots of different clubs, and I was a bit worried about him, and questioned his attitude"

If a player moves to a few different clubs when he's young, why does that mean he has an attitude problem? That makes no sense. In Sturridge's case, he wanted first team football so he moved around. What's so wrong with that? Surely being happy to just lounge on the bench and collect a salary is more of an indicator of an attitude problem? Wanting to move clubs to get first team football shows drive, desire and determination.

Steve Nicol - who has admitted to not being a fan of Sturridge - has also questioned his attitude. He told ESPN last year:

"Look, you know how I feel about him. The potential is there, and he has all the tools, but can he do it? If he's hungry, and there's no ego, and he plays where he's told to play, then that will be good news for Liverpool".

Steven Gerrard and Brendan Rodgers also did Sturridge no favours when he signed, with both delivering veiled warnings, almost certainly predicated on the media myth that he has attitude issues. Rodgers said:

"If he [Sturridge] wants to stay at this level, this is probably his last chance. He made a move as a young player to Chelsea and it has been difficult. The biggest thing is hunger though. This is probably his last chance, that will give him the hunger".

Gerrard then jumped on the bandwagon and further undermined Sturridge with the following warning:

"He has said he wants to play football for a big club. There'll be no excuses. He'll be with good players at a great club. It's all there for him. He just has to go and grasp it with both hands".

What kind of leadership is this? What kind of welcome is this? With the greatest respect to Rodgers and Gerrard, these comments were arguably counter-productive, and just fanned the flames of the 'attitude/arrogance' myth.

Gerrard's 'warning' is particularly heinous; it reads (between the lines) like Sturridge is somehow not worthy enough to play for LFC; that he should be privileged to be accorded the honour of playing with 'good players at a great club'.

It's like Gerrard is saying: "Well, you wanted a move to a club with players as good as me, well now you've got it. Get out there and show me you're worthy of playing alongside me, because if you don't, then you're out'.

For me, that was/is arrogance.

What does Sturridge have to do to prove that the various labels thrown around about him are BS? The guy has 34 goals/assists in 35 games! Surely, that is proof enough that he has the right attitude for LFC?



  1. sturridge is now getting the reckoning he deserves. his stats for liverpool are phenomenal. we need quality midfielders like chelsea to be the best.

  2. What mistake? Worked out perfectly well?!

  3. Love Sturridge. If his goal scoring and creative play are siugns of arrogance (which I don't believe), then there are a few others who could catch it and we'd be better off.

  4. This is something I've noticed before, how he's constantly questioned and not given the praise he deserves. Since joining he has quickly become one of my favourite players at the club. Any interview I have seen of him he is always very thankful & grateful of everything he has. To add to that, he's also alot more open and engaging in interviews than most of those boring footballers who are conditioned into regurgitating the same answers that mean nothing. Finally he seems to honestly love engaging with fans as we have seen through various clips on the net!

    I think he gets that label because he is so confident in his ability, not that I think that's a bad thing. I think it's just a form of green eyed envy all around him.

  5. Maybe just maybe. Rodgers's and Gerrard's comments spurned him on and that's why hes been a success so far at LFC??

  6. Even God gets it wrong sometimes. Let's be happy that we have Sturridge playing for LFC.. Arrogance is a good trait for Strikers. Because arrogance wins you games.

  7. The arrogance accusation predates his time at Liverpool. I'm not sure where it comes from. They even discussed it on the Guardian Football Podcast the other week and one of the presenters said they happen to know he is a very nice fella.
    I've always how much it is to do with stereotypes and what have you. I can't imagine a white guy behaving the same and getting the same label. If he'd pushed for a move when he was young (to get more money according to some), but was white, he'd probably get called ambitious or driven or something (like Owen, who admittedly was older when he moved, but I think it is a decent comparison for a number of reasons), but it has almost always felt to me that some people see him as some sort of 'cocky black guy'. Someone who doesn't know his place even. No real evidence to support this, just an undercurrent I think I've detected for a while.
    It could just as easily be that when he was young he actually was arrogant and the journos picked up on that and established a character for him that stuck in the minds of the public.

  8. if we miss out on the top 4 (which i think will happen), then he would be a great replacement for suarez. we won't get anywhere near his signature. ayre would be involved. ah well....next!

  9. Why should we care about all the BS being spoken about him. Every other team now is thing, hmmm, why did we not sign Sturridge at a mere 12 million pounds...

  10. Yeah poor write up Jaimie. I've heard Rodgers say many times about Sturridge, that he's a top lad and not arrogant at all etc

  11. I must admit when he scores he does look a bit arrogant sometimes but then hey why not?

  12. A bit expensive for FSG, we should look for players around 4mn & expect that another Cabya or Michu could be found. However, even if someone is found at that price, I hope scouts bring them by June, so that Ayre can get enough time to negotiate.

  13. People have gone crazy here (or nuts). 37mn for any player is a lot of money, but then donkeys were bought for 35mn (3 years time value 'll be more than 38mn), but comparing Mata with a English nobody is more stupid than comparing Spain & England football team.

    Those who are questioning Mata's price should go through the following list (Thank GOD that he isn't English, Bale's record would have been in danger)

    Mata's achievement

    National Team (Spain)
    FIFA World Cup: 2010
    UEFA European Football Championship: 2012
    FIFA Confederations Cup: Third-place 2009, Runner-up 2013
    UEFA U-19 Championship: 2006
    UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship: 2011

    UEFA U-21 Championship Golden Player: 2011
    UEFA U-21 Championship Bronze Boot: 2011
    UEFA U-21 Championship Team of the Tournament: 2011
    Chelsea Player of the Year (2): 2011–12, 2012–13
    FA Cup Final Man of the Match: 2012
    Premier League Player of the Month (1): October 2012
    Premier League PFA Team of the Year (1): 2012–13

    And now we talk about Zaha - what has he achieved so far (apart from being English)?

  14. I'm not sure what the point is here... re-hashing old comments and previous thoughts about a player that we signed a year ago who has gone out and proven the naysayers wrong...

    I understand that the original premise of this is a more recent article with the Anfield Wrap, but all the other parties were either quoted last year or admitted they had initial fears about Danny's attitude. Fears that have been ultimately alleviated.

    So again, maybe I'm missing something... but what's the point?

  15. Exactly what i thought mate, just a rehash of old comments

  16. What do you mean 'what's the point'?

    Sturridge has made a statement about being annoyed at the way he's perceived. I've included older comments to provide context for his view, and to show that the way he's perceived has, ironically, been perpetuated by people connected with LFC.

    This is perfectly clear in the article, wherein my train of thought is unambiguously outlined.

    What is pointless is your comment, especially in light of the fact that the point of this article is 110% clear.

    I always shine the light on things I deem to be ironic about LFC, and this is no exception.

    Just because you and others don't like what's suggested in the article (re Gerrard and BR, and LFC in general) doesn't make it pointless.

    Similar comments to this will be deleted from now on. If you or others don't like a particular article, why bother commenting on it?

  17. Why? What exactly has Sturridge done wrong in the past that warranted Gerrard and BR treating him like a petulant child? It's not Sturridge's fault he's been moved about. He just didn't get a consistent run in any team, and that's normal for a young player. As @VermHat suggests above, it seems like Gerrard and Rodgers just jumped on the bandwagon.

  18. I understand that Sturridge's statement is one thing. But it would have been more helpful if the comments you cited were more recent (considering Sturridge's statement was recent in and of itself) as opposed to a year ago. The reason why I ask the question of "what's the point" is because there is obviously a point here but that point was from last year, and I just don't know why you would bring it up now?

    Sturridge is still upset about that way he is perceived... but why? Who is still perceiving him in that light still?

    Furthermore, where did I "suggest" that I didn't like what was in the article? All I asked was what is the point of the article, as the evidence used to support this view is a year old and obviously the views of the people you referenced have changed since then (including BR, Gerrard and LFC in general).

  19. You could say the comments were counter productive but considering his form could it not be argued they were a success and kept the lad improving?

    Considering how many times I have heard Rodgers say that Sturridge can be world class I am not reading too much in to it. Like I have said before what works with some players does not with others and considering Daniel's form I would say man management is not so bad.

    I agree that the arrogance thing is not fair. Something F365 have said recently too.

  20. Well said mata is maradona to Zahar who is terry butcher lol

  21. You make some very good points there and made me think about the cliches and stereotypes that do get taken on by the old boys club in football and football journalism. But perhaps the Gerard Rodgers thing is a little more innocent. I am sure that Rodgers would still know some coaches at Chelsea and when he asked advice maybe they said he needs a bit of stick. He needs to be told he has to try to achieve the things he needs to do. This is pure speculation on my end but I don't read in to Gerard's and Rodgers comments the same way Jaimie does. I feel that they may have been laying down the gauntlet whilst aggrandising LFC. To me there is nothing in those quotes that specifically refer to any arrogance on Daniel's part or that he needed to curb it. Just that this is a big club and if he wants to be the player he can be he would have to work hard. I think you could read that they thought he may be lazy more than arrogant.

    This is all good though as it seems these ideas are changing. If Jimbo and the lads at the Guardian podcast are saying it as well as F365 as well as this site too perhaps the popular but mislead belief will soon change and he can be seen for the very good footballer he is.

  22. Perhaps they were advised it was the right course of action by Chelsea coaching staff who had been working with him previously. We don't really know but we can sort of assume it has worked. He is in what looks like the best form of his life.

  23. Because nothing they said was particularly derogatory. They simply threw down the gauntlet and challenged him to step up and deliver. And he has

  24. Why does it matter if the comments were made last year? Sturridge signed last year, and my point is that these statements have perpetuated the unfair myth that Sturridge has an attitude problem.

    BR and Gerrard may have changed their tune, but that doesn't remove the fact that they contributed to the attitude myth in the past, and as two high profile people - especially Gerrard - their comments will be taken on by fans, and in some cases, adopted as fact.

    The issue here is Sturridge is, right now, upset about being perceived a certain. Who is responsible right now is not really the point. Perceptions take time to grow and become ingrained, this particular perception has been growing for a few years, and LFC have (IMO) contributed to that, which is the argument I've made in the article.

    Perhaps I should just be like a lot of other sites, and just make grand statements without offering any kind of evidence to back them up? If I argue that LFC are partly responsible for perpetuating a negative image of Sturridge, I prefer to provide examples to back tht up, which is what I've done.

  25. Yes that's a possibility. I don't believe it's true, but it's definitely a possibility.

    As a footballer myself (albeit at a much lower level!) if someone said those things about me, it would pi$$ me off, not inspire. If a player works his a$$ off and is then basically put down like that, I don't see how it's inspiring.

  26. He's proved them wrong, the term relaxed on pitch means he lovess what he does, so lets move on. He reminds me the fun side of football.

  27. Personally, I like the argument and counter argument. It's what keeps me coming back to the site. I also like the fact that comments are generally polite though and that is patly down to your good policing but please don't take it too far.

  28. God bless James Richardson.

  29. It's more likely to be M&S

  30. Dear Jaimie.
    Stop looking at it as if "the glass is half empty"
    Try to look at it as a "half full glass"
    And hopefully you will stop writing rubbish :)
    You are a smart man and a wonderful article writer, so I hope you will understand what I mean and look at things with a bit more positive attitude :)

  31. He scores goals. Works for the team and then goes and makes a liverpool fan immensely happy by giving them his shirt. Top Man

  32. This, for me is the key issue racial stereotypes! Few months ago, I raised the question as to why someone like Andy Carroll was infinitely loved & accepted in comparison to Sturridge. Despite Carroll having previous for drunk & disorderly and being inferior in almost every facet of striking (apart from heading!). No one could give me tangible reasons for this disparity!
    To date there has not been a shred of evidence of bad behaviour about DS, this to me represents how as a black person the mechanism of racism in this country works. This is the criminalisation of reasonable behaviour-stop & search evidence etc Danny was never given a chance at Man City or Chelsea, his time at Chelsea was especially unfair as he was joint top scorer with Lamps despite his bit part role. I think he's proven beyond doubt that Chelsea were numpties for selling him considering there striking situation. Who would swap the current Torres for Sturridge now?
    What BR & Gerrard said was really unnecessary, these things are said behind closed doors not in public. If there's any justice BR & Gerrard have publicly praised him too!

    Other players unfairly labelled include Djib Cisse-dubbed lazy & arrogant despite his miraculous leg break recovery, an example of drive & determination. Andy Cole-dubbed moody & even incompetent despite stats backing him as one of England's top strikers!

  33. You're an idiot. If anyone is fanning the flames it's you. I'm sure Rodgers and Gerrard have done everything to help him since he has arrived at the club. Also, Rodgers has known Sturridge for a while and maybe realised that challenging him was the key to getting him to work hard and get us goals.

  34. I'm in the army and you realise during training, when things are tough and guys are struggling, that each individual responds differently to various kinds of encouragement. Some respond to the screaming and shouting and calling them weak etc. others respond better to friendly words of encouragement. The point is, it's about knowing the individual and I would say that 34 goals/assists in 35 games is the return of an inspired, highly motivated individual which suggests to me that Rodgers, gerrard etc are handling sturridge just fine

  35. In him post match interviews he always seems like a nice guy, on the pitch it is a different thing. SAS is the best duo in the league right now, but they both have an ego on the pitch, the "the ball should always be directed towards me" personality, unlike the van persie-rooney duo, where one understands he has been tasked to pass and score goals, while the other his only job is to score goals. But maybe SAS being who they are is what makes them so great.

  36. Dont want Costa at Liverpool anyway. Good player but not for Liverpool as would prefer pace. Jackson Martinez on the other hand is a very good player but his time has gone for us. He will be 28 in Oct so why would we blow the best part of £40m on him?