Sturridge names his striking idols, and lauds current teammate, too…
Star forward Daniel Sturridge has given a lengthy and interesting interview with BT Sport, in which he discusses his past, his present and his exciting future…
What do you make of the quotes, Reds?
Sturridge on his ambitions as a footballer
I thought I’d be where I am. I’ve always been confident in myself. But it’s been a long journey to get to where I am. Nothing is easy and things take time to come to fruition. I’m happy with everything that’s gone on in my career as it’s helped to get me to where I am today.
Sturridge on his past clubs
Bolton was the one to be honest. I’m grateful to Owen Coyle. I’m still indebted to the club and to Owen for everything he has done for me in my career. I still text him to this day and keep in touch. And the players as well. Being able to play week in week out and being able to express myself. But again playing for Chelsea and learning new things, learning movement, training with guys like Didier, playing with them, being close up to world class strikers Anelka and Didier. Anelka was my idol when I was a kid growing up, I always used to love watching him play. To watch them close up and to play with them was a great honour for myself. At Man City, growing up with the likes of Wright-Phillips and seeing him and Micah Richards, Nedum Onuoha, Stephen Ireland, all them guys helped me become who I am today and I’m grateful to the academy system. They all helped in my career. So I’m always thankful to them for what they’ve done.
Sturridge on Liverpool’s season and moving on from Suarez
Of course, I have no doubts. It begins with the training. I have always said, and every player that joins the club says it, the intensity is of another level. Its very very high level in terms of how everyone works hard in training. The tempo of the training is very high so that alone for me going into games we always feel confident because of how we train and that’s the platform for how we perform in the games. Along with the manager’s philosophies and how way he sees the game and how he wants to play, and the players we have – we obviously have Stevie who is unfortunately going to be moving on, but we have new emerging leaders in the squad. I just think we have that belief as well. Just because Luis has moved on and I’ve been injured for a period, we have no doubts about what we can do on the football field and sometimes it takes time for players to settle in and they’ve had that settling period now and things are starting to progress where they should be.
Sturridge on playing as a striker for Liverpool
It’s the first time I was able to play first and foremost. I don’t like to dwell on it but the positional thing for me was important from a young age. From a very young age I have always been put in different positions…. From a positional sense I’ve always felt centre forward was where I should be because it’s what I do naturally, I don’t think about things and I play off instinct. When you play off a different position your mindset changes and you start to think more than you usually would do and you start to question yourself, ‘should I be here?’ and that was what I was going through periods at the likes of Chelsea and at Man City when I was coming through I was on the wing a little bit. I always knew I was a centre forward and always believed in myself in that position. I didn’t have that belief from other people. Owen Coyle gave me an opportunity at centre forward and that was the most fruitful time for me. And when Brendan contacted me and said I want to play you in centre forward it was an easy decision (to come to the club) because I always believed in myself.
Sturridge on his partnership with Raheem Sterling
He can go as far as he wants to go. I am proud of him for everything he is achieving. I think if he continues to work hard and continues to believe in himself and has no distractions in his life – there’s none now and I hope that continues. He’s level headed and that’s what I like about him. I think he needs to get the credit he deserves for things he’s achieving because not many players are doing what he’s doing in the world. I am proud and I hope he continues to play like he is.
Sturridge on his injuries
When you are a quick player you are more explosive you do certain things the way I play. But its part of the game isn’t it? With the way I play now, you make certain runs and are more explosive and do certain things that other people don’t and that’s what makes us who we are, and that’s just how it is. That’s football and if I didn’t be as explosive as I was I could play and I could be fine and I could not get injured. But I am who I am and what makes me who I am is the way I play. And I have to continue doing that and continue doing the work off the field to ensure there’s no more injuries. God willing that doesn’t happen again [get injured].
Sturridge on which players inspire him
I still watch (other players). I watch stuff over 5 times. I’ll watch the same person over 5, 10 times. I’ve got DVDs of Ronaldo, of Henry, of you, Fowler, Bergkamp. The list goes on. I still watch clips. Ruud Van Nistelrooy. So many different players, I still watch the clips, still watch the moves. I remember when I was at Chelsea and Ancelotti used to say ‘watch a DVD of Inzaghi’ – movement in terms of runs in behind and what makes strikers score goals and at the time I used to like to come short and play passes and be more involved in the game, but as time goes on you realise playing on the shoulder does create opportunities not just for yourself but for your team mates too. Inzaghi was one that I really liked to watch, because he was completely different to how I played but he gave me something I didn’t have and actually helped me out a lot and probably a lot of the goals I score now have come from him.
Sturridge on what Liverpool can achieve this season
With cup football anything can happen. The Palace game away will be difficult. But we’re looking forward to it. It’s a big competition for everyone to want to win with Chelsea and City falling out of it but there’s still Arsenal, United and it’s cup football, it’s one game so anyone can progress. I wouldn’t like to disregard anyone. The Europa League is a great opportunity for us to go out there stake a claim for that. We play some great football and I believe in the philosophy the manager has and everyone else does and we know on any day if we play the football we can, we are unstoppable. We have no doubts about what we can do.
Watch the full interview on ‘Owen Meets Sturridge’ at 10pm BT Sport 1 Thurs 12 Feb. Watch Crystal Palace v Liverpool in the FA Cup 5th round on BT Sport 1 from 5pm on Sat Feb 14