“I don’t believe he needs the medal to cement his legacy but if you are a genuine football fan, for everything he has done over the past 15 years, you should want to see him complete his collection.”
– Jamie Carragher speaking about Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.
The fact of the matter is, if there is anyone who deserves to win a Premier League title it’s the Liverpool and England captain. Steven Gerrard has won every domestic and European trophy possible with his home club – except that one elusive league title. However, after a huge win over Manchester City, he now finds himself just four games away from changing that.
Why stay at the club you love when another is willing to pay you more and give you a greater chance of Premier League silverware? That is the question Premier league footballers are asking themselves these days. That’s why a Jamie Carragher, Gary Neville or indeed Steven Gerrard is so rare. He has been part of the Liverpool setup since 1987, when he joined as a 7-year-old junior. He is a Liverpool legend not only because he is a world-class player but because he is first and foremost a Liverpool fan. There’s no doubt about it, Gerrard would have a league medal in his trophy cabinet had he decided to take up the numerous offers for his services over the years. Real Madrid and, especially, Chelsea made the midfielder offers at different points but he rebuffed both because, as Jamie Carragher says “One title with Liverpool would mean more to him than ten anywhere else”.
He has almost single-handedly carried Liverpool through one of the most difficult times in its history. He has time and time again kept them in games and carried them through adversity, the FA Cup in 2006 and Istanbul in 2005 being prime examples. It’s easy for the likes of Terry, Giggs and Scholes to stay at their clubs – they were winning medals and trophies. Gerrard has remained loyal even when he has been denied Champions League football for the last four years.
This season Brendan Rodgers and his footballing ethos has brought new life to the Kop legend. He has excelled in his new deeper role, controlling games and showcasing his unrivalled passing ability. He has been an embodiment of the word ‘leader”’ and it’s clear to see the young players around him are inspired by their captain.
Who knows what the future holds but this could be Gerrard’s final chance to win the league. If Liverpool can push on and win their final four games, it will end the 24-year drought and, in my opinion, cement Steven Gerrard as the greatest Liverpool player ever. He deserves it not only as a Liverpool legend but as a legend of football.
However, as the man says himself, all thoughts must move to next Sunday and Norwich City.
Donal Lucey, Pundit Arena.