Writer: Johnny Baguette
Date:Tuesday June 23 2009
COMMENT: JB reflects as 19 year old MCFC Academy graduate Daniel Sturridge's wage demands look to have led him to a National Express trip south (poor wages) to warm the Chelski bench...
It's a great shame all told as anyone who has seen the lad when he is on his game knows he has bags of natural talent.
That said, his motivation was in question on and off throughout last season for the games he wasn't sidelined with an injury.
The demands he set with his advisers have been stubbornly adhered to for some time and his body language at home to PSG as long ago as last December gave the impression of a player who didn't want the ball and didn't want to be there.
One of the most disappointing aspects of the Sturridge camp's position has been that Manchester City have stood by him through serious injury, most notably one to his thigh that required a lengthy lay off. Ironically, such was the paucity of City's finances back then, Sturridge would have seen plenty of first team action.
Furthermore, when you look at how other City Academy graduates like Nedum Onuoha who has fought back from some bad injuries to the brink of England senior recognition and the brilliant Stephen Ireland has turned a career heading very publicly for disaster around, then Sturridge's two fingers to City is all the more galling.
An item of note in this episode is that it signals something of a sea change in Chelsea's planning as they begin to prepare for a time when their current generation of superstars move on or maybe for FIFA rule changes that require an increase of English born players in your starting eleven. As we saw in last year's FA Youth Cup Final, Chelsea have a recent history of buying in young players from around the globe. It will be interesting to see how they proceed with Sturridge.
When Vital MC visited Carrington to interview Shaun Wright-Phillips last February, we saw a number of the players arriving for training and in contrast to the upbeat likes of SWP, Zaba and Gelson, Sturridge looked thoroughy miserable.
Call it a hunch, but City's dressing room could well be better off without him. I only he hope he remembers and respects those many times when City fans bellowed his name for him to be brought on from the bench.
It will be interesting to see what he says when his long silence is finally broken.
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Date:Tuesday June 23 2009
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