Straw Poll: Are Liverpool Better Off Without Saint Steven Gerrard?

Alan Duffy

10th, April 2012


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?

Posted in Liverpool, Opinion

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  1. Conrad says:

    I agree full-heartedly with your last comment about Lucas. With the two of them healthy, I feel like service to the front from Gerrard and a strong line of defense between the midfield and back four with Lucas will create better results for Liverpool.

  2. Pete says:

    Mediocre players I think. Adam (before injury), Downing, Suarez all overrated. Carroll also might have been the worst signing of all time. What an absolute mess.

  3. swiss mafia says:

    With everything thats going wrong with Liverpool at the moment, I think Gerrard is the last person to blame in that club. I am not saying he is being blamed in this article, but I think Liverpool would definitely not be better off without him. They need all the help they can at the moment, and Gerrard is a big plus for them.

  4. KKK says:

    CHAD. The definition of mid-table.

  5. KKK says:

    Old Gerrard marched up the hill and has been on his was down for the last three years now.

  6. FigaroPinto says:

    I wrote this back in March 2011, and it still applies:

    Gerrard, I think, would’ve been a worse player in a better side than the mid-decade Liverpool. His brilliance comes (inter alia) from his ability to take the team’s performance on his own shoulders. He wouldn’t be allowed to do the same in a more dominant side (certainly not in the centre of midfield, at any rate).

    For the same reasons, I think Liverpool are sometimes worse *with* him, because of Liverpool’s dependence *on* him. This is most clearly the case when we’re not playing well, and less experienced players are un-willing/able to step-up. ‘Passing the ball to Stevie and hoping he conjures something up’ has been a damaging aspect to LFC’s play in recent years. Reliance on Gerrard will become less of an option in the coming years as the player comes to have less impact, is slower, less of a ball-of-energy, etc.

    What to conclude from this?
    1. Start getting Gerrard used to not playing so frequently, and becoming more of an ‘impact’ player. His leadership might not be needed on the pitch 24/7, but he can be brought on when needed to assert himself. (Kenny, as you point out, is the only one with the authority to do this).
    2. Get the team playing in a way such as not to be dependent on Gerrard; his current injury may be a sort of blessing, as Meireles, Lucas and Spearing step-up in the centre of the park.
    3. Consequently, a priority in the summer is a new CM who would be seen as a long-term *replacement* for Gerrard, and not a short-term complement to him.

  7. Al says:

    As a liverpool fan the form is disappointing to say the least. It isn’t Gerrards fault though, it is the fact that excluding Suarez and Enrique the rest of the signings haven’t performed well. Henderson is young and will get better, Downing has gone from a decent player to average, Adam is just plain not good enough and as for Carroll, well, he doesn’t fit the system of a passing team and will never settle in at Liverpool for that reason. As Pardew put it last week he will do really well at a mid table team who build around him. Whoever was responsible for signing him should be sacked, including daglish. It was a knee jerk reaction to Torres going and having that cash burning a hole in your pocket. There was no need for it, our season was in the shits anyway so they should have just waited until the summer and spent the money in a patient way much like Newcastle did

  8. Rob says:

    Having watched all of Liverpool’s games this season, it’s obvious to me that he is still head and shoulders above the rest of the team. He’s the only one out there who can provide crosses from midfield. Another stat was that Liverpool hadn’t lost a game when Andy Carroll had started, so we can’t always rely on stats can we?
    Good shout on Lucas.

  9. Richard Dunne says:

    I dont think so,

    The stats dont go in his favour, However, he has not lost it. He has lost the ability inspire a whole team of lack-lustre players but this is due to exhaustion, hes been doing it since 2005.

    When the team is playing well he still shines brightest, liverpools last league win against everton, the team was tremendous and gerrard bagged a hatrick!

    He still has a lot to offer, although, I think his position needs to change. He’s playing in the most physically demanding position in the team, if he moves back, hes didi hamann, if he moves forward rafas gerrard, where he was best with torres.

    Gerrard is not done, Saturday will prove that!

  10. Dan says:

    Please turn off your stupidity!!!

  11. Pete says:

    @FigaroPinto – Meireles? Where you been, bruh? You claim to be a Liverpool fan? C’mon now.

  12. Pete says:

    Nevermind Figaro, missed where you wrote that was from March. Apologies.

  13. Joshua says:

    Gerrard needs quality to keep him going, he was fantastic wen he had quality players like Alonso and Mascherano operating from midfield supplying him and Torres all the needed passes. Even the Almighty Messi will not do well wen he plays alongside mediocre players like liverpool has at the moment

  14. Tosser says:

    ‘Pool have been bleeding goals since Lucas (NW player of the year) went out. Gerrard cant be blamed for the leaks at the back which make him lay deeper in the field…he simply plays better nearer the opponent’s box. On top of that Liverpool miss Johnson, Agger, and Kelly as they move forward as attacking threats. Teams arent retreating as much and their counters are really damaging.

    I don’t get the Spearing love affair either, the kid has the right accent for Kenny, but seriously I have yet to understand how he is playing in the EPL. Watching his arms wave around as he ‘directs’ passes, seldom offering himself as an option, and usually forced into last ditch tackles due to poor positioning make me consider the coaching staff as the problem. I think I have seen him make 2 passes greater than 15yrds which unlocked either winger or a center (both were dead straight and on the ground) and a stiff wind knocks him over when he moves forward. Gerrard cant be the only source of creativity in midfield, he hasnt got the legs to collect every pass out of the defense.

    I am fairly sure that 19/20 PL managers would have SG in their sides Opta stats or not.

  15. Jim says:

    As a die hard Reds fan, Stevie is still markedly better than the rest of the squad even with his fitness problems (evidenced in the single moments of brilliance he still conjures up out of nothing at 30+ age i.e. the recent Everton match, the 2nd half hat trick against Napoli in the Europa League last year). It is a shame that the rest of the lads aren’t doing their part to allow Stevie to really show his brilliance (mostly in the attacking 3rd). I also do feel for Stevie a bit too. He deserves the have every single trophy there is to offer in his cabinet, and currently (and for the foreseeable future)Liverpool are not challenging for the League.

  16. Anabelle says:

    You’re wrong.

  17. df says:

    the only reason adam and henderson do better without gerrard is because gerrard is leagues better than them. they just can’t keep up

  18. syndex says:

    I watched the derby and said to my mate who’s a red it is a good result on the day but will hurt you in the long run because the cult of gerrard will continue. He is not ageless or immortal to injury and LFC have not worked on figuring out a system without him or replacing him, as his faculties wane the crash will come for the club and it will not be pretty.

  19. Professor Erno Breastpinchd says:

    a better poll would be “who used to quite like liverpool fc”

  20. lfc_man says:

    I think theres an assumption that big name players should play at the top of the game each and every game season after season. I don’t think anyone can blame Gerrard for LFCs form. He hasn’t played as well in recent years but he is still good enough to play for LFC.

  21. Mr. Angry says:

    what a load of shit this is! gerrard is the world best player! end off!

    @ alan
    stop talking through your arse!

  22. OrdyOrdyoftheToon says:

    @Mr Angry

    Really? …

  23. Ceeve says:

    Quick, short passes with more control are what the top sides are doing. In reality if steven is to stay vital at liverpool – he has to buy into that. SG is a bit old skool – he likes the long raking passes but he is world class surely he could adapt his game to suit liverpool.

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