Steven Gerrard has given a very interesting interview about how and what he’s currently teaching Liverpool’s Under-18s.
Our former skipper is taking his first managerial steps with our Academy players, with the hope that he’ll eventually move up and coach first the U23s and then potentially the first-team once Jurgen Klopp moves on.
He’s enjoyed some success so far, working with a talented group that includes the Norwegian prodigy Edvard Tagseth.
It’s the defence Gerrard wants to focus on, though, and has interestingly explained how he wants his teenagers to follow Jamie Carragher’s no-nonsense, ultra-physical example.
“Going forward we look a real team, we are passing the ball really well and creating lots of chances,” Gerrard told Liverpoolfc.com.
“We are a very dangerous attacking team, but I know that sometimes comes at a cost in terms of you can’t be a very fluent attacking team unless you are a little bit open.
“We are trying to teach and educate the kids to counter-press better, stop counter-attacks further up the pitch and be a little bit more tougher in one-on-one situations; put their body on the line a bit more and manage the game a bit better.
“Defending starts from the front and it always has done at this football club for many years, even before I was born. We had legends like Ian Rush, Kevin Keegan, John Toshack and Kenny Dalglish who were masters at defending from the front.
“We are trying as a team to improve defensively but what it boils down to is you’ve got to want to defend. You’ve got to take an elbow in the face, get a bloody nose or take a shot in the privates!
“Defending hurts. It hurts your body and it’s tough, but these kids have come out of schoolboy football and they are in a man’s game now, which is tough. We are trying to toughen them up individually and get them to put their bodies on the line.
“I played with Jamie Carragher, who wasn’t known for 40-yard passes or dribbling out from the back; he was known for blocks, he was known for organising and pulling people into positions and defending.
“He was a constant noise in your ear for 90 minutes and that’s how you defend at the top level.”
How we could do with a Carragher marshalling our backline right now…
Liverpool’s defence lacks any leadership and it’s currently resulted in us conceding 16 goals in nine games this term.
While the likes of Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan look composed on the ball, they’re nervous off it and it’s costing us points on a weekly basis.
We’d actually like Carra to come and work as a coach for Liverpool, but he’s too busy dominating the punditry world instead.