Saturday, November 29, 2014


What Liverpool should do with Steven Gerrard (JAMIE CARRAGHER, 11/28/14, THE DAILY MAIL)

If Liverpool had a penalty or a free-kick in a dangerous area, Steven is the only person I'd want taking it. He's proven that against Ludogorets and Everton this season. He is also the man I'd pick to play a killer pass and the one I'd back over anyone else if he was racing through on goal.

The issue, however, is that at 34, he doesn't get into those positions as regularly as he once did. Furthermore, the dynamic of the deep-lying role he occupied last season has changed as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have not been around to provide outlets.

After his outstanding efforts last year, he has yet to reach the same levels – who has in a red shirt?

Steven is not a great protector of a defence. He's there to start attacks from deep rather than shield a defence as Dietmar Hamann or Javier Mascharano did for me. [...]

Over the next 18 months, Brendan will have to start to take him off and leave him out for his own good. People have questioned whether the manager has the resolve to do so but history shows he makes big calls. Andy Carroll, Luis Suarez, Pepe Reina and I will testify to that.

But that isn't a bad thing for Steven. Can you imagine the reaction inside Anfield with 30 minutes of a tight game remaining and seeing No 8 getting stripped for action? With space to exploit and energy to change the game, he could be a lethal weapon. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Steven Gerrard eager to see Emre Can make his mark at Liverpool (Paul Wilson, 11/22/14, The Guardian)

“I have always liked English football and believed I would be suited to it,” he says. “I think it is the best league in the world to watch, possibly the strongest league, too. The conversation I had with Brendan Rodgers helped sway me, I could see he thought highly of me, but to be honest as soon as Liverpool showed interest it was a no-brainer. What I like about English football is that it is very quick, very physical. You hardly have time to breathe. That suits my game, and I haven’t been disappointed. The one thing I learned very quickly is that you have to be physically 100% ready to play in England.”

Can’s Liverpool career did not get off to quite the start he wanted, with a couple of early injuries delaying his first-team progress, but he has now played against Real Madrid and scored a goal against Chelsea, so he is up and running. “The goal gave me a confidence boost, especially after struggling a little bit at the start of the season,” he says. “I was never quite 100% fit for the first couple of months, and as I say, in England that can be crucial.”

Speaking at the Academy facility in Kirby as part of a first team visit to “inspire, educate and encourage the club’s young players and reinforce Liverpool’s One-Club philosophy”, Can says Steven Gerrard gave him some advice before the Chelsea game. “He told me it was a big game but it was my turn to shine,” he says. “I see myself as a similar player to Steven but I don’t know if I’ll ever match all the success he has had. He has had a great career and is still playing very well. I like playing next to him, he helps me out and looks after me, like a big brother. I hear people say he is past his best but he is still very influential. I don’t think he keeps getting in the team because his name is Steven Gerrard. He gets picked because of his performances on the pitch.”

Sadly, no, it's his name now.  The problem is, you could bring him on ffor the final twenty minutes of big games and he'd perform well, but you can't pull him for the final twenty.