Steven Gerrard gave us all a timely reminder of his quality with a stunning hat-trick to help Liverpool overcome a stubborn Napoli side. Will this performance mark the general return to form of midfielder and could he be the inspiration for another England star to return to form?
We all know the ability that Gerrard has, and there is no need to harp on about the number of times he has come to Liverpool’s rescue. However even Liverpool’s inspirational captain has struggled to produce displays resembling his usual self this season.
In many ways I think Gerrard has suffered with the same World Cup hangover that has seen Wayne Rooney desperately lacking in form during the opening stages of the Premier League campaign. Excluding the Napoli game, there hasn’t been any standout displays from the Liverpool skipper and generally there has just not been the same intensity in his performances.
Intensity is what makes Gerrard and Rooney so important to Liverpool and Manchester United respectively, and with the pair obviously short of confidence after the World Cup, it is only understandable that they looked to almost play in their comfort zone when they returned to domestic football.
But it was inevitable that Gerrard would show us that form really is temporary as his confidence grew. In many ways though you feel he struggled so much because of the general feeling of disappointment around the club during the opening weeks of the season.
In the last few weeks though things have gradually picked up for Liverpool both on and off the field, and it was only a matter of time before Gerrard joined the party. With United also beginning to reach their top form, Rooney should also find it easier to perform at his best when he returns from injury.
Gerrard’s return to form should give Rooney confidence because it demonstrates that it can be done. As an England fan, and more importantly a football fan it is crucial that we see the both of the England stars firing on all cylinders in the not so distant future, because the Premier League is definitely a better place as a result.