Liverpool’s talismatic Captain Steven Gerrard may well have to get used to playing out his career as a deep-lying midfielder according to Liverpool’s Manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Reds boss insists playing as Liverpool’s ‘controller’ could extend Gerrard’s remarkable career significantly beyond that.
“It’s something Steven and I have spoken about for a while,” Rodgers told the ECHO”.
“I thought he did very well in that role at Stoke. The mix of his game was excellent”.
“It’s a special type of player who can play that position”.
“Lucas Leiva has played there outstandingly well for us, Joe Allen has played it well and I think Steven Gerrard can play it because of his personality”.
“If you look at the profile of someone in that position, tactically, it’s someone who can co-ordinate the game and can lead it from behind. “You have to understand when to play short, when to play long and when to press the ball”.
“You need to have charisma and leadership qualities to play in there. You need to have the love of the football. You need to want the ball – you have got to be the guy who opens up the game for the team.”
So with Gerrard’s advancing years comes a change in his role in the Liverpool team.
Gone will be the surging runs into the box to be replaced by breaking up the opposition play and launching Liverpool attacks in his own half.
Well Franz Bekenbaur did it for the Germans as did many others for their teams, Pirlo has been mentioned among others.
I do not expect Gerrard to stand in the middle for the full ninety minutes of every game, more that he will pick and choose his runs when it is on for him.
Also, he should still take most of the penalties, free-kicks and corners that come Liverpool’s way.
Either way, Gerrard’s influence on the game will not be lessened by a deep midfield role.