Alex Rogers looks at where Liverpool are a year on from Steven Gerrard’s departure from the club.
16th of May 2015, a day that no Liverpool fan will forget – club legend Steven Gerrard bids an emotional farewell after a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace and not a dry eye was to be seen at Anfield. Well, my eyes weren’t dry, I don’t know about yours.
Steven Gerrard, to me, is the living embodiment of loyalty, leadership and of Liverpool Football Club. Only a handful of players in the world have made such an impact at their respective clubs like Gerrard has. Even to this day when I think of Liverpool, I think Gerrard. When he left Liverpool for LA Galaxy it was a mystery how Liverpool would cope without him.
The beginning of last season was a disastrous one. Only 3 wins in the first 11 games told a story in itself. It was looking like there was an unfilled void left by Gerrard, one that Henderson, understandably, couldn’t fill. Being asked to take over from one of the most legendary captains in sporting history is no small task.
Yet, it seemed that there was no passion is this Gerrard-less side, no fight, no ambition. If we were to go one goal down you may as well have packed up your things and left as there was no chance Liverpool were going to bring it back.
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After the sacking of Brendan Rodgers it seemed Liverpool were going downhill at an alarming rate without no real leader, no manager and no ambition. Fortunately the manager we decided to take over from Brendan was a special one, or should I say, a normal one, Jürgen Klopp.
Klopp has definitely brought back the ambition and passion that was lost when Gerrard left. Now if we are to go one goal down, don’t bother packing up because anything can happen with the mindset Klopp has embedded into our player’s heads.
Despite Jürgen coming in, something was still lacking in our team. Something, unfortunately, Jürgen himself couldn’t fix. It’s all well and dandy having a manager you can talk to off the pitch, but what Gerrard excelled in was his communication on the pitch.
Every single game we would see Gerrard talking to one of his teammates. Sometimes he would call across the pitch for someone to press or to attack. Or he would have a quiet word with someone on something they could do to improve their game. Gerrard was a captain his players felt like they could talk to. Someone they respected.
However, it was clear to see that our captain’s ability wasn’t what it used to be. Not to say that he was letting down the team with his performances, but a younger Gerrard definitely seemed preferable.
As the season progressed, many players started to step up to the mark of being a leader. I won’t go into who I think should be captain, but my point is that it’s good that there is competition on who should have the honour of captaining our club after there being no one in the team I really saw fit to captain us.
The end of last season finished on a low note after the Europa League final. People are right to be disheartened. But we need to think forward.
The future is definitely bright. At the beginning of the season the future was definitely not bright. It was hard to see the future without Gerrard in it. However at the end of this season I feel we can live without him. I feel like we’ve gone through a tough breakup, we had to let go of Gerrard to look forward, it was for the best even though at the time it didn’t seem it.
I hear many people saying, “Can could be Gerrard’s replacement!” or, “Let Henderson be captain for a few more seasons, then he’ll be a great replacement for Gerrard” but in my humble opinion there will never be a Gerrard replacement. Sure we may get another amazing midfielder like Gerrard was for us, but I guarantee that player would not be a leader like the number 8 was.
Gerrard was a freak of nature, a one off never to be seen again. In the words of Xabi Alonso, “Gerrard was my hero, my mate.”
Featured Image – The Guardian
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