Daniel Sturridge has to learn what is serious pain and what is just pain.
The above has been repeated many times in the twelve months since Jurgen Klopp revealed his frustration with his star striker’s continued unavailability due to, what Sturridge perceived to be, injury. Reading between the lines of Klopp’s interview it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to assume Sturridge was having difficulty adapting to his new manager’s training regime, which involved something called hard work.
In today’s modern game footballers are the prize assets of any football club and they know it. If a club’s star striker or defensive lynchpin were to get injured the consequences for the club may mean the difference between a place in Europe or relegation the second tier. However, as in Sturridge’s case, modern day players need to be wary when they decide their bodies are not up to playing two matches a week or that little niggle is sufficient reason to skip a mid-week game at the Bet365. Since Klopp made his statement on Sturridge the England man has hardly appeared for his club and if he were to move away from Anfield, the club playing at that windy Bet365 stadium may the best option available to him.
After this weekend’s match against Swansea, Jose Mourinho laid into Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling when both of the England defenders declared they were not 100% and therefore couldn’t play against the Welshmen. I would expect Manchester United have some of the bets medical staff in world sport and it would be these people who Mourinho would consult with to determine what players are available for selection.
To then hear from the players in question they are not fit to play must then be frustrating to Mourinho and I can fully understand his outburst but will the players understand if Mourinho decides to act on what he clearly believes to be a lack of character. With a transfer window coming up how much would you bet that a new centre half and left back are top of Mourinho’s wish list? And if these players do materialize what then for Shaw and Smalling? Do they stay and warm the bench as they watch other English players oust them from the national team or do they seek a move elsewhere?
And if they were put on the transfer market would any of the big boys want to gamble on players who now have a reputation of being whiners? I doubt it. So that leaves that club playing at a wet and windy Bet365 but whilst I would take Sturridge and possibly Luke Shaw, do we really need Smalling when we have our own Captain Fantastic and the Beast? Maybe, but only if it was to keep Hughes company on the bench!