Just recently, there have been many questions surrounding Steven Gerrard. Is he still good enough to start for Liverpool? Is it time for him to leave? Does he still have the hunger and fight that he has showed for so many years? To me, this picture offers little to suggest he has lost his desire to win. He may not be at his best at times this season, but I believe he is still determined to do his best for the club he loves.
After being recalled to the starting line up against Leicester this evening, the Liverpool skipper helped his side fight back from 1-0 down, scoring the goal to give Liverpool the all important lead. For the past year or so, Gerrard has played most of his football in the holding role, just in front of the back four. Last season, he certainly excelled there, however, having seen him so far this year, I believe that was down to the confidence that was flowing through the entire team. He has looked nowhere near as good in the holding position this year, and tonight showed why he deserves to be player in a more attacking role.
The presence and impact of Luis Suarez last year put less pressure on Gerrard’s defensive responsibilities, however he does not have that same freedom this year. He has looked sluggish and, along with his two centre backs, Liverpool have looked increasingly fragile in defence. The victory at Leicester tonight is a good example of what he still has to offer.
I believe Brendan Rodgers must now play Gerrard in an attacking midfield role. I don’t agree with the idea that he should play every game as I don’t think he is physically up to it, however, by playing in this position he can lead from the front. He can put the opposition under pressure in a way that will influence his team mates, while he stills possesses the attacking mind, intent and ability that will still enable him to impact the game in an attacking way, which could prove key, given the way Liverpool have struggled to score recently. In addition, with Lucas impressing in that holding role, Rodgers now has the chance to take a risk and play Gerrard in an attacking midfielder role.
As a Liverpool fan, Stevie G has been my idol for much of my life, and I don’t agree with those who say he has nothing left to give. Even if he leaves at the end of the season, he will continue to give his all and fight to bring success back to Liverpool football club. The way football fans, and especially Liverpool fans, have turned their backs on him is disgraceful.