Steven Gerrard is the greatest player Liverpool have ever had. The local lad defined what it means to play for the Reds. He rose through the ranks to establish himself as a Liverpool legend. Whenever he stepped onto the pitch he spilled his guts for the Liverbird. Stevie won a Champions League nearly single handedly. He regularly stepped up and rescued us when all looked lost. This is why we need to stop calling youngsters “The Next Gerrard”.
The Reds production line is always full of the next best thing. At the moment there are no fewer than 200 Next Gerrards in the academy. The most burdened by the term is Curtis Jones. The curly haired scouser dominates the midfield, just like Stevie G did back in the day. However, to call him The Next Gerrard is to heap unneeded pressure on young shoulders, especially when nobody will emulate the legend.
The Gerrard Role was constantly referred to in the immediate aftermath of the skipper’s move to LA Galaxy. This role is one of the most unfulfillable fantasies in football today. Gerrard was the best all round footballer of his time. There was no other player on the planet that could do everything with such aplomb and grace as Steven. He played every outfield position for his boyhood club during his career, in Istanbul in 2005 he popped up as an auxiliary right back when needed. When Fernando Torres was at the club, the Scouser played almost in a number 10 role.
The Gerrard role is unfulfillable, we need to stop burdening teenagers with the title of The Next Gerrard. Curtis Jones may well go on to be an enormously successful player for Liverpool. Let him be the first Curtis Jones, not the Next Steven Gerrard.