Daniel Sturridge’s year was a strong one despite a lengthy injury derailment, but don’t sell the Liverpool forward on the virtues of exceeding expectations.
Sturridge, 24, has scored 35 goals in a season-and-a-half at Liverpool and is on his way to England. By all his accounts, his performance was a major part of the Reds finishing second in the Premier League this season.
But second is not first, and Sturridge is apologizing to Reds supporters.
“I know we set the target of reaching the Champions League but I can’t stand here and say I’m happy. I am gutted,” said the England striker.
“I know we’ve gone from seventh to second but I am never happy coming second no matter what I’m playing, whether it’s table tennis, cricket or whatever, I don’t like losing.
“We’re all hungry for success and the fans deserve success. They’ve given us great support from the first minute to the last and I apologise to them for not winning the Premier League.”
That’s a bit much, but credit to the 24-year-old for trying. The young English striker can surely make many of them feel better this summer at the World Cup, let alone with a Premier League title next season.
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.