Steven Gerrard’s new book has caused controversy, mainly because of quotes about former boss Rafa Benitez – but it’s refreshing to read these ones about Jon Flanagan – a player our former skipper clearly rates very highly.
Here’s what he had to say on the young Scouser in an extract we’ve found:
“I was not the only local lad. Jon Flanagan is as much a Scouser as I am. Flano was totally onboard during that big ride towards the title. Against United he tackled Rooney, van Persie and Juan Mata before there were even ten minutes on the clock. Flano makes the most of what he’s got. He’s so strong mentally, and brave. I was devastated for him when, a year later, he was out for most of the season through injury. But in March 2013, Flano was in the form of his life. He was one of the first names on the team sheet because Brendan loved him. He did the job to a T and it was great to see him enjoying it as well. I knew what it meant to him and his family. He’s a great lad and just the type of player you need in a successful squad. Flano might not get wider credit for his technique, but he’s always there for you. Liverpool fans don’t call him the Red Cafu for no reason. In the dressing room he’s also known as ‘Mini Carra’ because he has so many similar attributes.”
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22-year-old Flanagan, or the ‘Scouse Cafu’ as he’s affectionately known on Merseyside, hasn’t played in over a season due to a career threatening injury, but he’s on the road to recovery and will hopefully feature around Christmas.
The Independent reported back in April that he was due up to nine further months on the sidelines, and we’ve undoubtedly missed him.
In 2013/14, as Gerrard mentions, Flanagan was superb – making the left-back spot his own.
He’s not pretty to watch but he’s defensively excellent and leaves nothing out on the pitch either. While Alberto Moreno is more suited to the left wing-back spot, Flanagan’s defensive traits make him arguably more suited to the left-back role in the 4-3-3.
Let’s hope we see him healthy soon and he can return to his best.