Why doesn’t Daniel Sturridge have a song!?
Daniel Sturridge has scored 58 goals for Liverpool; 21 in a single Premier League season, nine in eight straight games, four against Everton, three against United and a splendid opener in a European final. You can throw in an International winner against Wales for good measure. And he doesn’t have one song. Not even a song that only four people know the words to. Not even a song that’s actually another player’s song but with his name substituted in. Sure, I haven’t been at every single Daniel Sturridge match – but can anybody enlighten me?
This singsong analysis is, admittedly, not an exact science. Olivier Giroud has a fantastic song which frequently rips round the Emirates whilst the more acclaimed Alexis Sanchez suffers from a collective lack of creativity. Nobody’s to blame for the fact that ‘Gir-Oud’ sounds way more like ‘Hey Jude’ than ‘San-Chez’ ever will. Some people just catch a lucky break.
West Ham squeezed Payet’s name neatly into Billy Ray Cyrus’ ‘Achy-Breaky Heart’ but the Frenchman has turned his back on the club and ‘Lanzini’ will have too many syllables to function as a realistic replacement.
The ‘Sturridge’ surname isn’t the easiest to work with but this is Liverpool we’re talking about. There is special table in a pub opposite Anfield rumoured to be reserved for a mysterious group who claim writing credits to all of the Kop’s favourite chants. This is a club who briefly sang Lucas Levia’s name to the tune of John Paul Young’s ‘Love is in the Air’ before settling on a more familiar tune (adopted shamelessly from a Crystal Palace chant/any number of other clubs).
At the start of this campaign Daniel Sturridge had a Premier League goals-per-game ratio of 0.623; strangely similar to Luis Suarez (0.627) and Liverpool’s table topper Fernando Torres (0.637). However, his goals-per-minute ratio would blow the other two away. The Englishman has been on and off the bench more than he’ll care to remember mainly due to injuries but also a little lack of manager love.
He’s fit now but is arguably Jurgen Klopp’s third choice striker. Sadly, there’s little justification for him currently being in the Liverpool side. If you were tasked with designing a striker Klopp wouldn’t like you’d come up with something a lot like Daniel Sturridge; he doesn’t pressure the full width of the pitch, he goes for the spectacular far too frequently and he’s often stationary whilst planning his next move.
But this isn’t a Klopp issue. This is a more wide-spread issue that stems from the fact people just don’t love Daniel Sturridge. At Chelsea he was seen as a problem player, at Liverpool’s he’s seen as an individualist. It’s just unfortunate that Sturridge is a million miles away from the archetypal Kopite. Most of Anfield just can’t connect with the hip-hop producing, Instagram-loving, openly Christian striker. His celebratory dance remains popular but they’ll be a few eyes rolling these days.
Academy graduates receive a wealth of support from the Kop. Birmingham-born, ex-City, ex-Chelsea Sturridge can’t fall back on this. A second option is to ‘run your heart out, son’ the sole reason Dirk Kuyt was able to get over with the fans during his time at Anfield. The Dutchman gave 110% every match with the sort of performances that would make James Milner look lazy.
At the last few Liverpool games I’ve attended there’s been a loud (but ugly) Divock Origi song. It’s nothing special – a simple ‘Divock Origi, clap-clap, clap-clap-clap’. The young Belgian has done okay for the Reds but when did he jump up the queue? His song started during a touchline warm-up and continued for a solid five minutes. Away at Southampton last year I witnessed some lunatic start a Jordan Ibe chant. I still don’t know what the tune was and I’m not sure he did; it was strangely impressive. Nevertheless, these were sloppy efforts by Liverpool. What happened to the genius of the Buddy Holly inspired Maxi Rodriguez song?
Sturridge has a reputation of somebody who sulks but he’s behaved a lot better than some Premier League undesirables these past few transfer windows. I can’t recall him whinging too much about his lack of game time or demotion to the EFL cup side. He’ll likely leave Anfield soon – but can we at least sing him out the door? I don’t think Liverpool will ever top the ‘Johnny Comes Marching Home Again’ Fernando Torres song but surely that special table of musical minds can come up with something?
Mike Franchetti – a Liverpool fan