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Sturridge and Rodgers Win Premier League Accolades

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They're awards no one cares about unless you win them, but Daniel Sturridge's and Brendan Rodgers' Player and Manager of the Month awards are the first in four years for Liverpool. So, yeah, we care.

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The awards come with mandatory hugs.
The awards come with mandatory hugs.
Alex Livesey

By now you've seen the pictures of Brendan Rodgers and Daniel Sturridge showing off their pearly whites and holding their not entirely hideous Manager of the Month and Player of the Month accolades as gifted by the Premier League powers that be. The doldrums of the last few seasons have seen a dearth of acknowledgement for any of Liverpool's rare but not nonexistent hot streaks, and the manager and his player are the first in four years to unlock these achievements for the club.

Given Liverpool's start to the season, the awards are more than well deserved. Brendan Rodgers guided his team to a perfect three wins in three matches, with Daniel Sturridge scoring three winning goals to earn the club three points each time out. If you're the superstitious type with a numerology bent, you may want to consider three as your lucky number.

As fans, it's easy to be flippant about ultimately meaningless awards like this. They're marginally more impressive than the Standard Chartered double-helix Mr DNA trophy earned by a high achieving Liverpool player each month, and it's a nice acknowledgement for the individuals involved when there are few personal awards to be won in the sport.

More importantly, though, is the fact that Liverpool have not won either award since 2009.

Rafa Benitez won the award five times while managing Liverpool, his last in March 2009 being the club's last as well. It's not exactly surprising that Roy Hodgson did not manage even this dubious achievement in his short spell at Liverpool, and Kenny Dalglish's inconsistent reign never seemed to see his upswings outrank that of other managers.

Fernando Torres was the last Liverpool player prior to Sturridge to win the player's award, when he took it home for his work in September 2009. For all his on pitch brilliance, Luis Suarez has curiously never won the award — or not curiously, if you think more goes into deciding the winner than just performance. Five-time winner Steven Gerrard last won in March 2009, which marks the last time Liverpool held both the manager and player awards in its possession in the same month.

Insignificant or not, the awards are still a confidence builder and something for Sturridge and Rodgers to take pride in personally. With attitude and team cohesion being so crucial already for Liverpool this season, small gestures like this can only help to build on the positivity creeping its way back into Melwood.

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