Club v. Country v. Daniel Sturridge

Laurence Griffiths

Picking a side in the club versus country debate is always a dangerous move for a player, and Daniel Sturridge found himself pulled into that debate today when it seemed to some he'd chosen Liverpool over England.

Club versus country is a debate that will never be settled to the satisfaction of every football fan, though when it comes to Premier League sides, Liverpool supporters tend to lean far more heavily to one side than most. Perhaps it shouldn't have been a surprise, then, that the club's official site ran a story that had Daniel Sturridge setting out his main priority being Liverpool.

"I'm more worried about Liverpool and more worried about putting in good performances for us, us winning games and challenging for trophies," said the striker. "That's my main ambition—it's not about playing for England. That comes with doing the things you do for your club and, if I don't play well here, I won't get the opportunity to do it there."

Unsurprisingly, this is an outlook that made many, perhaps even most, Liverpool fans happy. It didn't sit so well with fans of other clubs who have players in the England squad but don't particularly care if Sturridge is further injured given it won't impact them, and it certainly didn't sit well with the supporters of lower league sides that traditionally come down on the country side of the debate.

It also ignored, no matter what side one found they were on, that earlier in the interview Sturridge set out that being England's top centre half was his aim and ambition, saying: "If you don't aim for that, you're aiming for the wrong things."

Facing the sadly inevitable Twitter abuse he was always going to receive for appearing to take an anti-England stance, he further took to the 'tubes to further clarify that his stance had always been that without achieving at the club level he wouldn't even be in the international conversation, and that short of fitness as he is right now, that's his main priority.

"Some people never understand," a clearly frustrated Sturridge said. "Read the interview. If I do well for my club I will play for England [but] if I'm not fit I can't play."

It probably won't be enough to stop the Twitter abuse. Because it's Twitter and lots of people are idiots. It also won't stop many, and perhaps even most, Liverpool fans hoping he keeps on missing England duty while scoring in nearly every match at the club level.

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