Gerrard Departure Could Benefit Liverpool


Firstly I need to hold my hands up, I got the Steven Gerrard contract saga totally wrong. I said Liverpool wouldn’t let their legendary captain leave Anfield.

Yet in the past forty-eight hours it’s been announced that Gerrard will indeed leave his beloved Liverpool this summer. The star also stated he wouldn’t be staying in England, with MLS being tipped as his most likely destination.

Can Liverpool survive without their talismanic captain?

Well of course. It’s true that no one man is bigger than a football club, Liverpool had a rich successful tradition before Gerrard and will continue on without him.

Actually the whole club might benefit from his departure.

Steven has always been a focal point to Liverpool’s game, since he broke into the team in 1999.

Back in the day that was grand as the midfield maestro could, at times, carry the Reds on his shoulders and see them to victory. Even when he was standing alongside players like Jari Litmanen, Xabi Alonso and Dietmar Hamann, Gerrard always managed to standout.

People constantly debate Gerrard’s ability as a top-class performer. I always take note of other world-class players and what they have to say. When players such as Zinedine Zidane and Xaxi call someone great, then its fair to say that he is a fine footballer.

But when the 2015-16 season kicks-off Stevie will be 35. His five goals in 17 starts this season show that he can still mix it in the Premier League. But his ability to dictate games and change outcomes almost on his own seem to be gone.

The problem is that the players around him don’t seem to step up when Gerrard’s not on form. They still look to their leader for inspiration. For the squad to grow then they might need to see the captain pruned from the squad.

Players like Joe Allen, Jordan Henderson and Emre Can may flourish when Gerrard leaves as they can become standouts without worrying about standing on anyones toes. Unfortunately some players wilt slightly when playing alongside a club legend (Aaron Ramsey had that problem playing beside Cesc Fabregas). Don’t get me wrong others like Luis Suarez thrive on it but at the moment no one seems to have the Uruguayan’s attitude at Liverpool.

Just look at Mario Balotelli when he arrived at Anfield. The first thing that happened was that he got his photo taken with Gerrard. To me, that is showing too much respect for one player in the current squad. It also doesn’t put the manager in the best light. He should be the focal point in such situations.

Speaking of the manager, Brendan Rodgers will have to rally the troops and replace Gerrard. Even in his mid thirties he was also one of the top players at Liverpool. A lot of pressure will be heaped upon Raheem Sterling and Philippe Coutinho to bring more creation and goals to the team from deeper positions. if Rodgers fails to bring everyone together and make Liverpool a stronger squad then his time could be up.

It will be sad to see Steven Gerrard leave Liverpool. I love one club players, but if he wants to continue as a player then he will probably have more impact away from England at this stage of his career. Plus Liverpool might just blossom without him.

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