Daniel Sturridge has hit out at former club Manchester City, claiming he left them to develop himself as a footballer, and not for money. He now feels completely at home in London, declaring that, so far, “everything has gone as I imagined it would.”
“Apart from the fact that I don’t play enough.” Hmm.
Sturridge’s move to Chelsea has always been somewhat contentious. Some claim he left for the money, others claim that Chelsea only signed him to increase the English contingent in their squad, owing to FIFA’s ruling on home-grown players; when Sturridge signed for Chelsea in July, 2009, the regulation on a 25-man squad-cap, to include no more than 17 foreign players, was due to come into force at the start of that year’s Premier League campaign.
Whatever the reasons on either side, if Sturridge really was looking for a pay-rise, he probably went the wrong way! However, his comments do raise an interesting point, as any England side of late has featured a very healthy contingent of players from both these Premiership clubs.
If we compare, then, the home-grown players in the two squads:
Chelsea: Ross Turnbull, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran, Daniel Sturridge, Ryan Bertrand, Jack Cork, Rhys Taylor, Ben Gordon, Adam Phillip.
City: Stuart Taylor, Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Shaelum Logan, Ben Mee, Michael Johnson, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry, Scott Kay, Craig Bellamy, David Ball, James Poole, Ryan McGivern, Kieran Trippier, Andrew Tutte.
Well, that makes 11 for Chelsea, and 19 for City. So, 1-0 to Roberto Mancini’s men. However, it must be said that this includes every association player with a squad number. If we look at the players who have made an appearance for their clubs this season:
Chelsea: Ross Turnbull, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard, Josh McEachran, Daniel Sturridge.
City: Joe Hart, Micah Richards, Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Ben Mee, James Milner, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Adam Johnson, Gareth Barry.
That’s 6-9. Closer, but still, 2-0 City. I won’t get into who should be a first team player etc, but I don’t think it would be too much of a stretch to say that only Cole, Terry and Lampard would start out of a fully fit Chelsea squad, while Mancini would probably count Hart, Richards, Lescott, Milner and Barry as first choice. That’s not definitive, of course, but it doesn’t really matter anyway, as that’s still 3-5, which makes 3-0 and victory to City.
Seems Mr Sturridge was wrong. Especially when you consider the fact that Wright-Phillips returned to City after spending too much time on the bench at Chelsea.
Perhaps Daniel will follow in his footsteps one day; after all, City will need a replacement for Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz.
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