By Alan Duffy
Once the undisputed King of Anfield, Steven Gerrard hasn’t been able to inspire his ailing Liverpool side to a run of good form since his return from injury this season.
A man of undoubted ability and influence, Gerrard is by no means the perfect player, with his penchant for Hollywood balls one weakness in particular. Fair to say, he doesn’t do much to keep Liverpool’s ‘throw-ins conceded’ column in check.
Indeed, I think it’s fair to say that there are an increasing number of people starting to question just how positive an influence the 31-year-old is on the current Liverpool side.
Football uber-boffin and writer Jonathan Wilson has put this argument across in the Guardian today, using Opta stats to back up his theory. Wilson’s piece also seems to show that the likes of Jordan Henderson and Charlie Adam actually do better when Gerrard is not on the pitch, in a scenario rather similar to Thierry Henry’s last days at Arsenal.
However, how ever much creedence you give statistics, and indeed Jonathan Wilson, does he have a point? Has age, injuries and arguably too much influence on the set up at Anfield diminished Gerrard’s value to the Reds? Or does he still have a lot to offer Liverpool and is he simply a victim of having mediocre team-mates himself?
Personally, I feel with the much-missed Lucas (who has made more tackles than any other Liverpool player this season despite being injured since November!) in beside him in midfield, Gerrard can still be a star for Liverpool. What do you guys think?