The greatest tribute that I can pay to Steven Gerrard is that, along with Kenny Dalglish, he is one of the best two players to pull on a Liverpool shirt
The greatest tribute that I can pay to Steven Gerrard is that, along with Kenny Dalglish, he is one of the best two players to pull on a Liverpool shirt.
He really is that good.
I’m not surprised his testimonial game this Saturday is a sell-out. If anybody deserves a full house, it would be Gerrard.
Everybody knows his ability. He has been a fantastic servant for Liverpool and, while he could have gone to Chelsea midway through his career, when he sat and thought about it he undoubtedly made the right decision by staying.
Gerrard has been nothing short of absolutely brilliant for Liverpool.
It will be a very sad day when he is unable to play on a regular basis.
He is the face of Liverpool to millions around the world, and he is an extremely acceptable face, a real ambassador for the club.
Everything about him is top class. I’ve had plenty of dealings with Steven regarding different matters, and he has always come across as a nice bloke.
When he received a special tribute award from Football Writers’ Association earlier this year, he made a point of going across to every single table and thanking them. I have never seen any player do that before at one of those awards.
But that’s him. That’s the way he is.
He has always been an intelligent footballer.
Liverpool play with three in midfield these days rather than two, and that has helped him.
Maybe he doesn’t rampage forward as much as he used to, but I don’t think that’s an age or fitness thing. It’s more about how the manager wants him to play.
Quite rightly, Brendan Rodgers is using Gerrard in the position to get the best out of him and the team.
The effect the skipper has on his colleagues is phenomenal, and when he doesn’t play it does feel as though there is something missing.
It’s the way he passes, he is always inviting players to come forward. He rarely makes people stop and control the ball, and has that priceless ability to keep the game flowing.
The real problem will come when his abilities start to wane. I’d have thought he is still good at his top level for the next 18 months, not least as he is a naturally fit athlete.
We don’t know for how long he will play for England, and when that ends that will help Liverpool as that’s up to 10 or 12 games less a season he will be playing.
The question will be whether he wants to keep playing once he is no longer a regular. When you have been the team’s best player for so long, that’s a mental issue to have to overcome.
Will he be prepared to miss a few games and then come off the bench for some others? Only he will know. Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes managed it, but it’s a difficult situation.
And, my word, Gerrard will take some replacing when he does hang up his boots.
I remember when Graeme Souness left for Sampdoria and Liverpool in effect brought in two players to replace him.
That will surely be the same for Gerrard. Because to expect another player to be like him is impossible. There is only one Steven Gerrard.