Why doesn’t Steven Gerrard just leave Liverpool?
After watching yet another abysmal exhibition from Liverpool I continue to ask exactly why Steven Gerrard continues to plunder his reputation with his current crop of woeful colleagues. Liverpool looked anything but potential champions during a drab and error riddled Merseyside derby on Sunday. Yet throughout the first half Steven Gerrard continually delivered leadership, inspirational midfield mobility and a range of passing to rival anything around at the moment. The Merseyside debacle yet again failed to mirror any semblance of genuine ability or entertainment and I just wonder how long the wonder kid is prepared to tolerate mediocrity in exchange to meddle with the big boys on occasion.
Gerrard has a rare talent for a domestic player in that his diversity of skills places him in an echelon unique for an English midfield player. Gerrards unerring ability to pick a penetrating pass is far superior to any other local wizards such as Carrick or Barry. Gerrards breathless running and desire to truly embrace the responsibility of the box to box centre middie is unrivalled, perhaps Hargreaves or maybe Essien might be mentioned, neither of which are first choice starters in their respective teams. Gerrard has that ability to score regular goals, and not just fortunate gimmies that will occur throughout the course of a season. No, Gerrard scores plenty and he scores with diversity, headed goals, set piece free kicks, goal-of-season every other week and a hand in all of the goals that Torres scores as well. Only Lampard comes close to Gerrards goal scoring repertoire from midfield and I know exactly which one of those two I’d have on the field first. And Gerrards leadership and rousing persona makes John Terry look like a nursing home. The number of victories plucked from the grasp of impossibility by a one man show of brilliance has a catalogue of FA Cup, Premiership and European rhetoric.
And yet still Gerrard remains a sole provider to a team that has chopped and changed and invested millions and still appears to be no better that it was. New managers with bold new innovations have innovated their way out of a job as a league cup and Premiership obscurity were never quite enough. New foreign players have been given the earth and never really delivered on such a promise; the list of Liverpool’s purchasing blunders is endless and at times criminal. New owners with corporate assurances have regressed an inspiring club to the very doldrums of despair, and it don’t look much like changing soon either. And even today the Liverpool team sheet appears nowhere near adequate enough to truly be proud of. Gerrard must surely soon get bored with these bumbling idiots that hamper his advancement and jump to the riches and glory that such a talent deserves.
Liverpool have spent the majority of the season battling for fourth spot in the Premiership with local rivals Everton and only with a handful of games remaining does it look like this encounter has been resolved. The last two Premiership campaigns have brought more success to Liverpool than an Arsenal team in transition could achieve and yet now Liverpool’s season will see them finish lower in the Premiership than last year and further away from the winning points total than ever before. The delusional Liverpool fans were boasting a renaissance of triumphant proportions after a big win against Derby back in September. These delusions look somewhat pathetic when you now consider that Derby will be recognized as the worst side in Premiership history and most teams destroyed them handsomely at home. Out of interest, the return fixture at Pride Park was a rather pitiful two one away win followed by a run of four drawn games to inferior opposition. Not exactly the performance of champions. And finishing one place higher than Everton will not guarantee you anything at all.
Liverpool just don’t have any inspiring players and the lack of genuine progression must be of massive frustration for Gerrard. The piggy bank was well and truly smashed in order to procure the services of Torres and he is quite the player. But to look around the Liverpool team for the other world class superstars that are going to help Gerrard overhaul the ‘Big Three’ and reach expectation, well I just don’t see them. John Arne Riise and Dirk Kuyt are absolutely awful, Sami Hyypia was very good, the keeper is far from top class and the remaining squad players are very average when compared up against the Arsenal team and the Man Utd bench. And Jamie Carragher is not a world class defender in the same way that beating Derby does not make you championship material.
So will Gerrard finally come to his senses and give up the directionless Liverpool journey of squad rotation, boardroom scandal, managerial ineptitude and on-field mediocrity in exchange for a winning formula abroad. Gerrard will be twenty eight years old by the start of next season and he’s in the form of his life. Yet he’s going to finish fourth in this Premiership campaign and he also has no international football of any worth this summer. Not quite the environment that a genuine world class player deserves. Can you imagine the commentary of Gerrard influencing a European cup final victory with the likes of Barcelona?
“Xavi Hernandez, to Iniesta, to Gerrard, to Messi…Goal!”
“Carragher, to Riise, to Gerrard, to Kuyt…Goal…kick…Goal kick!”
From The Writings Of Jonny Carter