Liverpool Need To Drop Free-Falling Skipper To Succeed

Word on the grapevine is that Liverpool are set to drop Steven Gerrard from the starting eleven for the game against Real Madrid in the Champions League tonight.

The Anfield club’s captain is supposedly set to be rested for the clash against Chelsea at the weekend, with doubts over his ability to handle a series of games in such a short period of time.

However, it might make sense for Brendan Rodgers to consider a more limited role for Gerrard in the near future.

It has to be said that Gerrard’s infamous slip in the game against Chelsea last season cost Liverpool the title in the final weeks of the campaign.

Their chase for a huge win at Crystal Palace caused them to collapse, and if they had simply secured a draw against Chelsea, as they looked likely to, and a win against Palace, they would have won the title for the first time since the reformation of the leagues in 1992.

Since that fall, Gerrard has struggled to impress as regularly.

It is unfair to blame Gerrard for that slip, but it is reasonable to say that Gerrard has never truly shown himself capable of fitting into the new Liverpool style.

Rodgers has repeatedly tried him in new positions in an attempt to fit him into the team.

The rejig last season, into a deep lying role, was effective but came at the cost of defensive solidity.

It is reasonable to suggest that with a specialist defensive midfielder, the defence would not have been so leaky over the course of the season.

Gerrard himself was responsible for problematic displays against sides that heavily closed him down – against Aston Villa for example, he was somewhat responsible for the side conceding two goals.

He was then tried again in an advanced role by Rodgers against Queens Park Rangers a few weeks ago, but no longer has the fitness or attacking drive to play in that position.

In the middle the likes of Jordan Henderson, Philippe Coutinho and Joe Allen have all outplayed him when given the opportunity.

This all leads to the idea that, should Emre Can, who will almost certainly play tonight, impress, he should be given the opportunity to make the role his own going forward.

It should aid with Liverpool’s defensive woes, and also help the side when going forward, with many opponents having figured out that pressing Gerrard quickly shuts down his passing range, rendering him slightly useless.

While it is a risk, it is one Rodgers may have to take.


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