6 Mar 2015

Frustration? 'Exceptional' £29m LFC star admits he's unhappy with Rodgers' handling of his game-time

In February 7th, 'exceptional' Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge tried to (indirectly) exert pressure on Brendan Rodgers to start him in the Merseyside Derby, but Rodgers held firm, and left him on the bench as part of an ongoing fitness-management strategy. Given his terrible history, Rodgers is clearly right to ease Sturridge back in slowly, but the striker is clearly frustrated with starting on the bench, and he is once again trying to pressure the manager into starting him more often.

Prior to the Merseyside Derby, Sturridge told reporters:

“I feel I’m ready to start. I’ve had a week and a bit’s worth of training as well as the two games I’ve come on in and played a part. I’m looking forward to playing 90 minutes and performing as best as I can.”

After the victory over Manchester City, Sturridge was at it again:

“I feel good, I have felt really good since I came back and I am ready to play every game. I don’t want to be eased in but I suppose that is what the manager wants.”

Sturridge knows exactly what he's doing, here. He's basically put indirect pressure on Rodgers to start him in every game, and to be honest, it's a bit of a shady trick. I'm sure Rodgers has discussed his stance with Sturridge behind closed doors, and this public gripe is (IMO) a deliberate (and minor) act of defiance.

Rodgers has to remain strong, though. £29m-rated Sturridge is not the best judge of his own readiness, and even if he thinks he can handle 90 minutes, the manager has to take an overview, and do what's best for the team, not the individual.

In any event, there's no urgent or compelling need to start rush Sturridge back to starting every game.

* Domestically, Liverpool have lost only once in nineteen games, and in that time, the team has proved that it can win games and perform well without Sturridge.

* The Reds have players available to cover Sturridge. Sterling is on a roll up-front, as is Coutinho behind him.

* It's a good thing that Liverpool can play well and win without Sturridge, and given his constant absences, the development of that habit is essential.

Sturridge's desire to start every game is understandable, but the decision is no longer in his hands. His fitness history dictates Rodgers' current stance, and if maintaining fitness means starting every other game, then so be it.

I'm one of Sturridge's biggest fans, and when fully-fit, I feel he's Liverpool's most important player. However, the clear reality is that LFC don't need him to start every game, and he won't endear himself to Rodgers by (ostensibly) going behind his back and talking out of school.



  1. Sturridge has that competitive passion, it's good to see. He'll be boiling over to get on the pitch. I think in the past we've seen that frustration can get the better of him. Perhaps it's been so long since he's played 90 minutes but have we forgotten those difficult scoreless or 1-1 draws where Sturridge would start taking ridiculous shot attempts to win the game all on his own? So there is a fine line here and the player does need to ensure that he continues to learn to handle his emotions and his passions for the good of the team. Best case scenario he gets out there and works his socks off, not just creating and scoring for this team but also closing down players and popping up all over the pitch when needed. What I think instead might happen is that even when he plays we'll see his frustration get the better of him and a bit of that sulky Sturridge attitude will be on display. It's not really a big problem, I think fans read far too much into those kinds of things, but Rodgers will need to be talking to the player and guiding him appropriately. Manager and player need to work out a way to channel this determination into the right kind of action on the pitch and Sturridge will probably find the manger sitting him down for a chat after these recent comments.

  2. Daniel Sturridge's frustration is nothing to read too much into.With more than half this season on the sidelines.DS is probably desperate to boost his goal tally.
    However, Rodgers rushed him back early already this season and he broke down.Which cost the club points.
    As we approach the final furlong.Our red horse is running faster than any other.I think we'll make top four, but Liverpool need our key players healthy.
    Brendan Rodgers doesn't even need to open his mouth.Just give Sturridge his injury record on paper.He should understand.

  3. It's a natural reaction for Daniel Sturridge to want to player every game so I don't think its a big story, it would be more worrying if he didn't say anything. He is still the main forward at the club despite Sterling become more experienced and decisive in the role. Not surprisingly Sturridge has look very rusty since coming back from injury but I am sure he will be ready for the next 3 rounds of the EPL because in my opinion that is where the race for 3rd/4th will be won or lost.

  4. Lallana and Lovern even GJ and KT .want to stay .
    Look how Sterlings form is dropping off now that he is in a contract battle .
    Then their is the likes of Shakiri, Sanchez ect .that would rather play at another club even for lower wages ,

  5. Because he is FRESH .

  6. And Sanchez...

  7. I dig sturra as much as the next guy... but lately if noticed his wastefilness on the pitch. stray passes, pointless dribbles into a wall of players and sometimes a little selfish (suppose these are things you can expect from a striker). I guess as long as he's doing the business, all is well. But we are notorious for losing the ball cheaply and then conceding from that loss of possession. I hope this is just rust and he is polishing the preventable mistakes out of his game. I love the way liverpool are playing at the moment. you feel we can create magic when we have the ball, so i dont like to see us lose it cheaply...

  8. Classy player, Turan.

  9. Bottom line is that he IS rusty, and needs to sharpen up as despite being fit for selection, he needs to be better than the guy in situ. Of course he wants to play, there's only 10 games left and it's been a long road back. But his general play has not been at his usual standard.
    Same with Gerrard.

  10. I don't know if he's being shady here much or anything really. It feels more like a standard comment considering the desperation he must feel to be playing it all. He's probably had more intense conversations in BR's office about it.
    Burnley was the first game since he's been back that I saw the real sharpness, awareness and movement he is so good at, looks as if his quality is coming back, he's been ring rusty and his relapses are well documented.
    Rodgers is doing exactly right here I think. I don't think he will play all 90 against Blackburn, then it's 8 days until our next game the Monday evening, he may get the full 90 there.

  11. Sturridge going behind the managers back or just stating a fact that he would like to start every game after missing so much of the season. Anyway Rodgers treatment of Andy Carroll who he said was going to play every game one minute to his face, then 10 mins later tells him another club want him, and he should go. Now that's two faced and shows the guys integrity, unless he would care too comment on Carrolls accusations.

  12. Sturridge might feel ready but anyone with half a brain watching his recent appearences will know he is nowhere near match fit, also I'm sure Rogers is been advised by his medical staff, I would always take the word of a doctor over that of a player who is desperate to get back

  13. Studge has a right to want more time on the pitch. He wants to score goals and who can argue with that kind of ambition? I want him to play more too, but we're winning and that affords the luxury of bringing him up to complete game fitness at BR's pace. If BR's way helps Studge be his best in late April and all of May and we get to CL football, then BR will be rightly praised for excellent man management for this one outstanding player. Let's just see how it plays out.

  14. Yes, he's fresh, but not as fit as he could be. We'll need him in April and May when others are running on fumes.

  15. I have followed your blog for some time. however this article illustrates to me what I had been thinking. You are writing from your imagination not from the analysis of fact. The issue raised by Daniel Sturridge is now old news ,but you choose to raise it to the height of headlines again.
    Very disappointing. No better than the Sun news paper. shame on you