A few days ago, Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge signed for West Bromwich Albion on loan.
Sturridge signed from Chelsea in 2013 and became the first player in Liverpool’s history to score on his first three appearances for the club. In the 2013-14 season, Sturridge scored 21 league goals making him the runner-up to strike partner Luis Suarez for the Premier League Golden Boot, as well as being nominated for both the PFA Player of the Year Award and the PFA Young Player of the Year.
He has, though, been unable to kick on. Since September 2015, Sturridge has been injured for 485 days, missing a massive 70 games. For one of the clubs highest earners, it was a poor return. There were always stories about his injuries and his mind – an ability to push through reasonable amounts of discomfort. There are memes mocking his loan to Liverpool FC from the Royal Liverpool Hospital, and at a match earlier in the year the guy next to me said he was out with a twisted sock.
So one would think that it is not that much of a problem that he has moved elsewhere the season. Sturridge’s loan comes barely two weeks after Liverpool sold Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona for a whole wodge of money. The Brazilian Magician was a regular first team player, an outstanding footballer who could do special things and was a joy to watch.
Sturridge was one of the few players in the Liverpool squad capable of producing what Coutinho took with him to Barcelona. On form, he is a mercurial talent. That’s why I’m disappointed to see him leave.
There is so much potential there and his loan move has left me with a fear of missing out if he hits his best form for the Birmingham club.
FOMO was a new acronym for me until recently despite it being added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013.
A recent study on the subject defined it as:
…”the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you”. Under this framing of FoMO, nearly three quarters of young adults reported they experienced the phenomenon.
I knew about it as the constant need to check social media and to always know what’s going on, with its roots based, potentially, in your own unhappiness.
It was when I was thinking about it in terms of Daniel Sturridge that I wondered whether a word I just used also has greater links to FOMO – potential.
Potential is something I’ve struggled with in the past. I can see a glimmer of potential and, for some reason, I want to explore it. Other people can see much more of a glimmer and yet decide that because it is still “potential” and not certain, it’s not worth the effort. Everyone has their own thresholds of potential that they see as worth investing in, or otherwise. For me at least, there is a fear of me missing out on that potential that someone else may get to see.
That’s why I’d have taken a chance on Daniel Sturridge through the second half of the season. There is definite potential and, when there’s so much, why would you want someone else to realise it? But then how long can something stay as potential before you have to decide that it’s not going to happen?