Liverpool’s heroic captain Steven Gerrard has hit back at recent criticism of him, saying that it had been taken too far, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
The former England captain, who retired from the national side after the World Cup, was better on Saturday than in recent weeks.
His stunning free kick had seemingly sent Liverpool on their way to a win in the Merseyside derby, although Phil Jagielka scored for the Toffees shortly before the final whistle, meaning that the points were shared.
Having seen his goal wiped out by a defender scoring only his seventh goal in seven seasons, Gerrard was still keen to point out that those questioning his ability were taking things to the extreme.
He said: “I’ll agree with the constructive criticism and I’ve been stifled in a couple of games when people have followed me around and I haven’t been able to shake them off.
“But then some people take it too far and say ‘He’s 34, he can’t run and he’s finished’.
“I can still compete with the best players around. It’s nice to remind people that although I’m 34, I can still run, I can still play and I can compete with the best players around.”
The midfielder helped lead Liverpool back into the Champions League last season, although he made a costly mistake in a clash with Chelsea to cost the Reds in the title race.
Liverpool hero Steven Gerrard has backed his new vice captain Jordan Henderson to become the club’s new main man after he retires, with his midfield partner having grown into a significant figure at the club since Brendan Rodgers became manager, as reported by the Daily Star.
Henderson looked to be on the way out of Anfield only a few seasons ago, when Rodgers seemed set to let an expensive signing who had failed to impress depart, but a series of sensational displays in recent years have completely changed Henderson’s situation.
He is now somewhat indispensable in the middle of the park, as shown by Liverpool’s struggles once he was suspended towards the end of last season.
The England international has now been appointed vice captain at the club by Rodgers, and Gerrard, who scored an injury time penalty winner against Ludogorets in the Champions League on Tuesday night, has backed the 24 year old to replace him in years to come.
Regarding the appointment, Gerrard said: “It’s very well deserved and it’s no surprise to me.
“I’m sure he’ll be the main man – the club captain – in a few years when I have gone.
“He epitomises everything that a captain is. He works hard on and off the pitch.
“He’s well-liked in the dressing room. He leads by example and, let’s not forget, he’s a top player as well.”
Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has hailed Mario Balotelli after his club’s late 2-1 win against Ludogorets in the Champions League, and believes the Italian international striker can help his club reach new heights, as reported by the Daily Mirror.
Gerrard was the hero in the clash with the Bulgarian champions, as he converted from the spot in the dying moments of the game to kick Liverpool’s return to the Champions League off on the right note.
It was the first game that the English giants have played in the competition since 2009.
Having struggled to break down their opponents, Balotelli ultimately broke the deadlock for his new side. It was, however, his work rate that Gerrard took time out to praise.
Gerrard said: “A lot of people were wondering what we were going to see from Mario in terms of off-the-ball and work-rate, what he gives us off the ball.
“But we saw tonight how hard he worked. You have got to give Mario immense credit. When you try to find a breakthrough, you keep going – which is what he did. Great strikers only need one chance and he took it.”
Balotelli joined the Merseyside club towards the end of the transfer window, signing for them from the club he supports, AC Milan, for only £16 million.
Elsewhere in their group, Real Madrid secured a huge win against Basel.