What can you say about Steven Gerrard, I think it’s fair to say a legend of the club in his early 30’s. He guided us in Istanbul and he’s stuck by us through some very tough times. Mocked by opposing fans for his lack of Premier League titles and disputes over his needs to listen to the Beatles rather than Oasis in nightclubs, I still wouldn’t replace him with anyone.
After a season riddled with inconsistent form and injury, as well as years of holding the club up on his shoulders, I believe it’s time for Stevie G to reproduce some form of old. The squad that Kenny is building is strong, stronger that it’s been for some time, with individuals like Luis Suarez now in the first 11 the pressure for Gerrard to perform every game has been lifted slightly. A Liverpool team that was told up until Christmas last season that it was the worst Liverpool side for years showed that it was so much more than that.
As Gerrard looked on from the sidelines and saw the club bond and strive superbly under Kenny Dalglish he must have been salivating at the prospect of linking up with the likes of Carroll, Suarez, Lucas and Kuyt during a inform spell when they’re all firing terrifically.
I’d like to think I speak for many a Liverpool fan when I say that despite the fact we’ve 431 central midfielders at the moment our number 8 would still be the first name on the team sheet. He came under criticism while Roy Hodgson was at the helm but then so did many if not all, but he showed against a good Napoli side that when called upon he can make a difference, whether it be for 10 games in a row or a 45 minute half. A superb Anfield hat-trick showed a few doubters that he’s still got it.
Although we had Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano feeding Gerrard in recent memory he was always the one we looked to. Even when Fernando Torres was in world class form Gerrard would be the one we would rely on to make something special happen. I want you to cast your minds back to a game in 2005, I’m not sure how many of you will remember a certain night in Turkey. For everything that’s been said about that game the stand out moment for me was just after Gerrard scored the first of Liverpool’s 3 goals. He looked back at his red faithful in the stands and gestured uncontrollably that this game wasn’t over and it was that moment everyone else began to believe.
Of course it’s over 6 years since that day and Steven Gerrard is now an old man in a youthful Liverpool side but his influence can never be underestimated. He’s not a 40 game a season player anymore in my opinion and having that strength in midfield will give others a chance and mean he’ll prolong his career to it’s maximum potential.
We showed at the back end of the previous campaign that we’re good enough without Gerrard and since June we’ve added more strength in depth, so just think about a side with Steven Gerrard in the heart of it, pulling string after string, playing ball after ball, and scoring goal after goal, it’s an extremely satisfying prospect.
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