Over the past several months numerous media outlets have pushed the "Daniel Sturridge is unhappy at Liverpool and/or with Jürgen Klopp" narrative. Sturridge did his best to change that narrative in a wide-ranging interview with The Echo.
I am happy here.
I have never expressed not being happy here. I think it is everyone playing devil's advocate. They see that I have been left out sometimes and they think ‘maybe that means he is unhappy' but at the end of the day the manager has got a job to do.
He has got to pick the team that he feels is best on the day. And I have got a job to do, which is to perform when I am playing.
There has never been any friction between me and the manager. Never. There is never any on my part and there is never any on the manager's part, either, I don't think.
It is his job to pick the team. This is a team game and if he chooses to pick someone else, I have to take it on the chin.
That seems pretty categorical if you ask me (not that anyone does). I look forward to seeing how the media will try to spin this statement.
Throughout his time as a professional footballer, both before his arrival at Anfield and after, Sturridge has unfairly been labeled as selfish, lazy, and soft. Former footballers and pundits eagerly came out of the woodwork during his horrendous injury spell at Liverpool to criticize the striker for not playing through the pain. And since he's been healthy, a great deal of ink has been printed to paint Sturridge as unhappy on Merseyside, and looking to transfer away from the club. Granted, Sturridge hasn't helped himself with previous interviews about the inevitability of leaving the club, but there has been very little else to go on other than perhaps astrology or reading tea leaves.
However, you only needed to watch Sturridge's reaction to his goal against Villarreal to get a sense of how the England international feels about playing for Liverpool. This is not to say that Sturridge won't be departing soon (such is the nature of transfer windows in modern football), but rather that he is clearly invested in the team right now.
With the first chance I had I was like ‘how did that not go in?' so I felt as if I had to make up for it and I am grateful to God that I was able to do that.
It's the biggest goal I've scored for Liverpool, but hopefully there will be a lot more bigger games and a lot more bigger goals to come in the future.
It took me a while to get over not winning the Premier League here. That is the closest I have been since leaving Chelsea to winning something big.
The Capital One Cup was so difficult to take. I was in tears after the game, not just because we lost but because it was a moment for us. We wanted to move to the next level in that game but we were unfortunate.
We have learned from it and we have got another final. Sevilla have won it twice before. It’s not new for them but we have won it before as a club and we want to give the fans something to sing about. It’s another game for us to show on the big stage we can live up to the expectation.
Sturridge, along with far too many on the current squad, have never won silverware with the Reds, despite coming tantalizingly close in 2013/14, and again at the end of February this year. He's a special player, and one that is on the brink of finally achieving something special with a club that took a chance on him when other big clubs had passed him over.
I'm sure everyone in Red wants to see Sturridge bag one or two more massive goals for Liverpool this season, but no one more so than the player himself.