He is my footballing hero. The kid who became a man at Anfield that allowed so many fans like myself to dream. He was the player I saw in Istanbul, drive his team forward and win the Champions League. He is Steven Gerrard.
Over the next six months the world will rightly laud his footballing career at Anfield and his legendary performances at his boyhood club.
Gerrard has announced he will leave at the end of the season for a new adventure abroad and said
“This has been the toughest decision of my life and one which both me and my family have agonised over for a good deal of time.”
Many of the fans and perhaps even Rodgers, an avid supporter of Gerrard, will no doubt believe the time is right for Gerrard to leave the club especially as his performances are on the wane.
However, many fans also believed that Gerrard would end his playing days at Anfield and would never wear another footballing jersey. So why has Gerrard decided to leave his boyhood club?
Broken hearted after title failure
Last season’s epic charge for the title gave Gerrard a new lease of life. He played his part in one of the most entertaining Liverpool teams of all time and came within a whisker of winning his first league title.
Fans, Rodgers, the players and Gerrard himself would have started to dream about lifting the League trophy after defeating Manchester City at Anfield. However, the horrible turn of events against Chelsea with Gerrard allowing Demba Ba to score meant that the title would stay away from Anfield for another season.
Gerrard looked a broken man and some say he still does. A cloud arguably hovers over Anfield and no more than Gerrard. With no title in sight this season his big chance is gone and it is perhaps time to move away from the heartache.
Fed up of being the scapegoat
Gerrard has often carried Liverpool with his brilliant performances. He has played in some terrible Liverpool sides and still managed to lead us to victory.
However, more recently he has also played his part in some poor Liverpool performances. Gerrard can only do so much and he may simply have had enough with his performances being judged every week by the media and fans – especially as he has so often been our saviour. It is arguable that Rodgers should have better managed his game time better to give him and in turn the team a better chance of performing.
Gerrard is no doubt fed up of the debate on whether he should start or not and which position he should play in.
Not happy with a limited role
Gerrard is a proud man – we all know that. He is also a player who has repeatedly defended himself and believes he can play at the highest level in every game for Liverpool.
Whilst Rodgers is a big admirer of Gerrard, he has also now decided the time is right to rest Gerrard in certain games. He was rested for the game against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu which must have hurt Gerrard not to play in such a big game. More recently he has also been rested in League games including the 4-1 win against Swansea over the holiday period.
Perhaps Gerrard saw a glimpse of the future and saw himself sitting on the bench more next season – something he couldn’t bear the thought of. The once saviour of Liverpool would find it incredibly hard to be a fringe player at the club he has so often led on and off the pitch.
New adventure with his young family
On leaving Liverpool, Gerrard said:
“My decision is completely based on my wish to experience something different in my career and life and I also want to make sure that I have no regrets when my playing career is eventually over.”
Gerrard has a young family and it is a good opportunity for him to sample life abroad. He has lived his whole live in Liverpool and played for one club. He was never going to line up against Liverpool so the opportunity to move abroad – most likely the USA – with this family for a few years is a new adventure for him.
Gerrard will have his own reasons for not playing out the rest of his career at Anfield and I would imagine it’s a mixture of the above reasons.
However, it is not the time to spend too much time on thinking why he is leaving and instead to wish him all the best in his new adventure. He deserves it!