“Stevie Gerrard, Gerrard, he’ll pass the ball forty yards, he’s big and he’s fucking hard, Stevie Gerrard, Gerrard!”. Much to the delight of a lot of Liverpool fans, Steven Gerrard this week started training with Liverpool in a bid to keep his fitness up during the MLS close season. For some fans, Gerrard should never been allowed leave the club in the first place and the manner in which he left the club was a disgrace because of his history with the club.
I’m also sure there’s certain fans out there who think that having Gerrard back training at Melwood, is a prelude to him possibly signing back for the club in January on loan from LA Galaxy. I’m sure this thought has crossed Gerrard’s mind at some stage since the MLS season finished and I’m sure like so many other players playing professional football not only in England but worldwide, Gerrard has a desire to play under Jürgen Klopp and learn from the Liverpool manager both on and off the pitch. From the pictures posted on the official Liverpool website this week Gerrard certainly looks happy to be back at Melwood, back amongst his former teammates and back at his boyhood club. He’s all smiles, he looks like the cat who’s got the cream and the rest of the Liverpool players seem happy enough to have him back around the first team. But and that’s a big but, if Liverpool do sign Gerrard back on loan from LA Galaxy this January, where does he fit into Jürgen Klopps team? Who does he replace in the starting eleven and is his body able for the fast pressing game Liverpool have adapted under Klopp recently.
At the minute Liverpool have an abundance of midfield players in and around the first team. There’s captain Jordan Henderson, the German maestro Emre Can, the born again Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen, vice captain James Milner and young Jordan Rossiter, who has tried to stake a regular place amongst the Liverpool first team this season. Would an ageing Gerrard play over any of these players if they’re fully fit? For me no. While Gerrard is a club legend a heron amongst fans, you could see towards the end of last season his legs were beginning to fail him. While he is still capable of the odd champagne pass or scoring a screamer form thirty plus yards out, I don’t think he’s able for the Premier League week in, week out anymore. It was plain for everyone to see that his age caught up with him, as last season drew to a close and I’m sure he’ll be the first to admit this is the case aswell.
While i personally dont think Gerrard coming back to Liverpool in January in a playing capacity is a good idea, as I’ve already said, there’s some fans who might argue that there is a need for him to come back, citing his experience as a footballer, the fact that some players will invariably need a rest or players might get injured or banned and that having Gerrard in the squad makes sense to cover any of these eventualities, but for me it doesn’t make sense at all. Why? Well would Gerrard be willing to take a bit part place in the squad to bide his time? With his past and his history within the club I doubt he would be up for such a minimal role at Liverpool. Would Jürgen Klopp be willing to have him about the squad been unhappy because he’s not playing and this possibly affecting the morale within the squad, something that was evident under Brendan Rodgers for the last eighteen months.
Jürgen Klopp has worked hard over the past few weeks and has just about gotten rid of the poor confidence and morale amongst the players. He has all the players playing out of their skins, signing off the one hymn sheet, showing the qualities that they possess and in my opinion having Gerrard back in a playing capacity could upset this balance. While I have no problem with Gerrard back training with the club, in fact I’m all for it. I think Gerrard has the potential to be a fantastic future coach/manager at Liverpool and if he can gleam even the smallest amount of knowledge from Klopp it can only be good for Gerrard at the present and in the future. But having him playing could prove detrimental to his legacy at the club. He’s fondly remembered by fans for his abilities on the pitch in the past and if things don’t work out for him again, alot of fans will only remember the present and not what he has done in the past.
And if the rumours are true about Liverpool’s interest in Ilkay Gundogan, would Gerrard be happy being further down the Liverpool midfield pecking order? For a player who likes to play every game I can’t see him being overly happy being sixth or seventh choice midfielder even if it is only for a loan period of time. And I can him having a sulk because he’s not playing and some fans then getting on Klopps back because Gerrard isn’t playing that often.
So now you all know my reasoning behind not wanting Gerrard back at the club in a playing capacity. But if he does come back to play for Liverpool, I’ll support him to the fullest, for after all he is the one and only Stevie G.