I SHOULD be going to bed. I’m due in work at 7am, and the alarm clock will ring at 5. Instead, I’m pouring a bevvy and writing this because my head’s chocka. It’s chocka because one of the greatest players every to pull on the red shirt is leaving. It’s chocka because of how arsed I am about that fact. It’s chocka because I’m a cynical 38-year-old nark that tells himself he isn’t arsed about footie any more. I’m arsed about this. I’m gutted.
Let’s not fuck around here – millions of words about the current captain will now spew from keyboards the world wide. These won’t be among the best. They’re not aiming to be. They’re just here to say this: Steven Gerrard *is* Liverpool. He’s the man who has pulled this club up on his own time and again and taken it – and us – to places we would never have seen if it hadn’t have been for him; his determination, his will to win, his quality. That needs to be recognised and appreciated above anything else.
Forget research, stats, timelines and milestones; all the stuff you’ll read about in the hours that follow. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten a certain goal, or a certain moment — you’ll see them all soon. Just think instead of the first thoughts that form in your mind as a Liverpool fan when you think about the skipper: Steven Gerrard scoring *that* goal against Olympiakos. Steven Gerrard slaloming through the Sheffield Wednesday defence. Steven Gerrard clearing efforts from Everton off the line and celebrating with a clenched fist. Steven Gerrard running the length of Goodison with his hand to his ear after slamming in a shot no-one was saving. Steven Gerrard scoring one of the greatest goals you’ll ever see. In an FA Cup Final. In injury time. Steven Gerrard scoring, and inspiring, in Istanbul. Gerrard at right back, in the middle, on the right of midfield and behind the striker. Gerrard kissing the camera at Old Trafford. Gerrard scoring every conceivable goal. Gerrard snapping into tackles and jumping on Everton players. Gerrard putting Jack Wilshire on his arse. I could go on. And that’s the point. I could go on. Your list will be different — take your pick, the lad’s racked up hundreds of great moments in a red shirt, we’d be here all day. And I’ve got work.
Let others snipe about shite that doesn’t matter. Let others sing bullshit songs about England, slipping and transfer requests. Nothing can spoil the Steven Gerrard legacy. Not to my mind. This is a lad who grew up a stone’s throw away from me on the Bluebell estate in Huyton. Who went to school with one of my best mate’s brothers. An ordinary lad from an ordinary home who went on to be one of the best in the world.
Even now, even at the tail-end of his career, he is capable of things that very few in the world are capable of. Remember that skimming half-volley ball he played the other week? What about that through ball at Fulham at the end of the last season? What about those passes that he effortlessly curls 40 yards or the close to un-defendable balls he puts into the box from a free kick? What about the free kick against Basel? Again, I could go on. And that’s the point. I could go on.
Is Steven Gerrard the best player to have wore the red? He’s up there whoever you ask. The only one I’d put close to him that I have watched on a regular basis live at the match is John Barnes. I didn’t go the game until I was teenager. I missed Kenny and Souness. Gerrard I have watched from day one and I’ll watch until it ends. In Huyton his talents were no secret. The fella who used to cut my hair at Twig Lane barbers used to rave about his ability before he was anywhere near the first team. In the same barbers a hand-drawn picture of him in a Liverpool kit lived on a shelf long before he was in the national conscience. This is a lad who has been at Liverpool since he was eight. Eight years old. No one – no one – can have a pop if he decides 26 years – TWENTY SIX YEARS – later that he fancies a change. America? He’ll piss it. I’m not looking forward to the moment he kicks a ball wearing another club shirt though – and I’ve been one advocating that he should play less for Liverpool to get the best out of his final days.
Here we reach an important distinction to make. Steven Gerrard has been great for Liverpool Football Club — that is an unquestionable stone-cold, nailed on fact. But no man can beat time. Not even Steven Gerrard. It’s hard to take. This is your hero. A man who has bailed Liverpool out of the shit so many times. A man who has lifted the club beyond the mediocrity that surrounds him on the pitch over and over again. But it can’t last forever. Nothing does. And suggesting using Steven in a cameo, or resting him, or using him in a different position at different times — none of that stains what has come before. Legend is an overused word. Luis Suarez wasn’t a legend, he was a supremely talented footballer who used Liverpool as a rung to reach the goal that Luis Suarez wanted to reach. Steven Gerrard is a legend. He has won honours with Liverpool and been absolutely key in doing so. He willed it. He told it ‘no’ and he made it ‘yes’.
His capability to do that now has lessened but Steven Gerrard is still hugely influential. People snipe about Brendan Rodgers ‘favouring’ him, ‘accommodating’ him and the rest. But put yourself in his shoes for a moment. You’re an outsider. A man with no Liverpool connection. In front of you is a man who dragged Liverpool to a European Cup final and come back to Liverpool holding the gold. A man who people are inspired by, a man who players at Liverpool say, no matter what *we* think of his leadership skills, IS a leader. Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Suarez, Raheem Sterling….every new signing; take your pick, they always reference his influence: they value his opinion, they’re in awe of him, they want to play with him. The lad is a world-class footballer. A world-class footballer from Huyton.
Rodgers has referenced his influence, too. And let’s be honest, he’s needed it. I’m not privy to what goes on behind the scenes, but my guess is this: you persuade Steven Gerrard, you get Steven Gerrard on board, then you’re a big part of the way there in getting everyone else on board, too. Unofficially, I wouldn’t mind sticking money on Steven Gerrard being Rodgers’ unofficial No.2 since the manager took charge. But all that’s for another day. This is a sad moment – a moment when what shouldn’t be a surprise came as a surprise. Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool and Liverpool face an almighty task to replace his influence on and off the pitch. Can you buy it? Can you coach it? Time will tell. But insisting on buying young players, and players with potential? It’s a big ask to replace someone like Gerrard with that policy in place. Perhaps that’s why Rodgers has played him so often; perhaps that’s why he has pushed for a better contract to be laid on the table. Because, deep down, he knows we won’t see the likes again anytime soon.
Steven Gerrard is leaving Liverpool and I for one will miss him when he goes.
I’m going to bed.
Tremendous Gareth, beautifully written.
Captain, my captain.
very well writen every word resonates with my memories of him from the everton goal line clearance to european final goal .as the saying goes you never miss the well till the water runs out seems apt at this moment in .
Other clubs fans will cheer at this news so much was their fear of him but the true football fans will mourn his leaving of liverpool and one day say to their children I saw the great Steven gerrard playing with a sense of pride.
But to steve liverpool meant life to him and in his leaving it is up to rodgers Henderson sterling etc to make sure the put liverpool up where they belong as steve tried to do not always successfully but he did really try and in that way they will leave a lasting legacy to a true legend
YNWA Steve thanks for everything you did for this great club
That goal against West Ham in 2006. Thank you for that Steven. Can’t tell you what it means to me but I will if I ever meet you.
Our best ever. Maybe, maybe not. All depends on your age, perspective or emotional bias. But a true true legend. Deserves every plaudits coming his way.
Amazing man and footballer.
He knew that Brendan would give him as many minutes as he wanted, but even so there was going to come a time when he just convince himself that he couldn’t do all those minutes – even if we think that time has already come.
Then you have an MLS contract that would be worth what, US$150m at least, (beckam’s was $250m) for signing up for 5 years. That offer when you are going to be 35 at the end of the season and you don’t want to be a super sub.
He has to take that offer. I would. There is no title challenge in our near future. No CL football next year either because Brendan couldn’t make decisions for the benefit of the team throughout the season thus blowing our chances.
He has to take that offer. I woud. You would. He will.
Becks’ contract with the Galaxy was actually for 6.5 mill a year. The “250 million” figure was for PR purposes only and included his endorsements and the like. Stevie’s gonna make a mint in America, but not 150 million from MLS alone.
I feel bad making such a mundane correction after such a beautiful article, but I feel the need to make that clear, so that when we hear Stevie’s making 4 million or whatever it doesn’t lead people to think he’s being massively underpaid compared to Beckham.
Yeah, Gerrard will get nowhere near $150 million. How did you come to that figure?
Reported he’ll get an 18-month deal worth a total of around $9 million. It took Beckham about two seasons to settle in to MLS and he was a few years younger than Gerrard – most “superstars” come to MLS at 31-32 now. Not sure Gerrard is going to set the place alight at 34/35.
My first thought when I heard this was he deserves it. Who wouldn’t fancy a few years living in LA. He knows he can’t win the league with us. Regardless of what we say in footballing terms, the time’s right for Gerrard himself.
Well said. If you like the Hornby riff about football keeping you young because it’s impossible for a supporter to ever imagine themselves as being OLDER than the actual players, then moments like this are the other side of the coin, the jolt to your sense of mortality. This is it now, the impending moving away of someone who I can recall making their debut, who I’ve watched and read about for years and whose merits have been debated endlessly by people with not a shred of his talent. He’s not played well for five seasons and gone to Real, he’s not been farmed out to Newcastle, he didn’t get signed from Wycombe – he’s been there, since before we even knew he was there. That doesn’t happen very often in modern football, so we’re right to cherish it when it does.
A post-Gerrard era: bizarre. The sadness is in the realisation that it’s the right decision: for the team, for the manager, and for him, of course. Hyperbole? So what. Bring it on. His legacy will endure.
Yes, the Hornby riff. So very true.
Nice job Gareth.
Don’t mind admitting to shedding a few tears over this news. I think it’s the best decision for all concerned but it’s still a tough one to take.
you don’t find another steven gerrard. It doesn’t work that way. But you do find character, and leadership, but you have to create space for it to flourish.
It’ll happen soon enough at Liverpool. We buy too many talented players for it not to. Henderson isn’t there yet. He has no composure when it counts, when the pressure is on. He’ll never be a top footballer until he crosses that bridge.
That’s where Gerrard’s character is so special. The bigger the occasion, the higher he rises. No stage is too great for this man, he simply raises his game.
Think about it. If it were about his legs, he would have been done years ago. Probably when he was having all those groin injuries. But put real quality on the pitch in front of him, I mean top class quality like Suarez and Sturridge – the best partnership he’s ever played with, and his game rises to meet that. That’s when he comes into his own and repeatedly demonstrates why he’s a big player for the big change.
The game then becomes dictated by what that world class triumvirate decide it will be. There just isn’t a stage that is too big for him, though you have to be smart about how you use him – ask Rafa. Don’t ask Woy.
And for our future. There is no title challenge in sight. Currently CL footy is at best the most outside of chances. He has at least £100m waiting for him to sign in the MLS – at the age of 35. The stars are aligned.
Even if we were still in the CL right now, we don’t have that stage for next season. He has no more big stages to operate on here. And he’s 35 in a few months. 35. And there’s a new stage for him to occupy, enjoy and live through. At the elite of ageing footballers, there is a golden opportunity that you have to take. when you are part of that elite. It would be rude not to.
I was at the game today. Plenty of people talking of how he shouldn’t have started, even in the pub after the match, but you know, when he stepped up to take those two penalties, there was only one outcome. No other player would that apply to (possibly in world football), and yes, it’s clear that the SG of his prime was gone forever, but there’s no man in red I would trust more to get LFC out of a crisis – and I’ve seen most, from Keegan to Souness, Kenny to Suarez.
And while we’re at it, I’ve seen references to Reina, Agger, Suarez in the same sentenias Carragher and Gerrard tonight. Put simply, they aren’t the same, will never be the same, and would never see themselves as the same as two local lads, who gave everything for over 1300 games for LFC…
The king is dead, long live the king. Step up Jordan Rossiter young man
Great article mate. Nailed it. Amazing career, amazing footballer. Class, top class.
I’ve been critical of his performances this season but agree with most of Gareth’s piece. It’s time to move on, I just wish he could have gone out with a bang last season, left in a blaze of glory. Instead I can’t help feeling he’s been hung out to dry by an insecure manager.
He isn’t the best Liverpool player i’ve seen, that’d have to be one of Souness, Dalglish, Keegan or Hansen, but he’s earned the right to be considered a legend at the club, he pulled us up by our bootstraps at times and didn’t have the luxury of playing with great players for much of his career.
He’s the only man (who I’m not related to) that I’ve actually loved. That’s coming from another 38yo narky cynic. Thank you for everything you’ve put into this club, Steven. Just watching your career has enriched my life.
Great piece. It’s been a pleasure Steven, one of the greatest we’ll ever see
Well said. I just want to add this:
The more I think about last season, the more I wish it hadn’t happened. If we could wipe it from the memory banks and slot us in about 7th, I’d take that in a heartbeat. Overachieving is a curse: it is killing Rodgers now and it has helped to kill Gerrard this season. Team not hitting the same heights? Pin it on the manager and the auld fella. A couple of subpar performances when you’re 24? Just a bit of a slump that you’ll play your way out of eventually. Do that at 34 and you’re finished, over the hill, holding the team back. Say it, say it again, and before you know it enough people are believing it.
Half a year ago Gerrard was coming off the back of a season where his pass completion rate was his highest ever, he led the league in assists, scored his second highest number of EPL goals and was nominated for player of the year. “He’s got at least two more good seasons in him” they said, and everyone nodded.
Half a season in with the team playing at level not inconsistent with recent years bar the last and apparently it’s all gone to shit and the captain – who for the first time in his career is no longer capable of carrying the other 10 on his back – can take the fall. We may have arguably the worst keepers in the league, the second worst defence in the top 12, no recognizable striker and the rest of the midfield – Lucas, Lallana, Sterling, Henderson, Allen, Countinho – may have coughed up only 12 goals from their collective 91 appearances, but if only the captain would rein in his “ego” and sit out most games then we’d be back in there mixing it with Chelsea and City.
Gerrard is not the player he was, but make no mistake: he is easily, without any shadow of a doubt, good enough for this current Liverpool side. He hasn’t been getting selected on sentiment, but because the players around him just haven’t been good enough to warrant his exclusion. And the major difference between Gerrard and those he’s competing with is that even in the midst of a poor game, you know there’s the chance he’ll pull a “rabbit out of that hat” with a pass, or a free-kick and – yes – even a penalty. Who else would you have said was better than evens to slot those two penalties today? Coutinho? Henderson? Sterling? Right.
There was always going to be a ‘final season’, but it shouldn’t have been this one, and those responsible for helping to ensure it is this one should hang their heads in shame.
Grrr, lack of an edit facility.
The last couple of lines were meant to include a qualifier: if it transpires that this wasn’t his decision and his decision alone. It may well be, of course.
But imagine if we’d won it and Stevie had been able to sail off into the sunset. Wouldn’t that have been glorious? And we were so close. Last season was the most fun I’ve had as a Liverpool supporter since the late 70s. It was all so gloriously unexpected. The tragedy isn’t in the overachievement, but in the falling off when the title was within our grasp. But oh! what a ride. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. And I don’t think, when he has time to look back on it, Stevie would either. I hope not anyway. He should never let that slip define him, he deserves better than that.
Remarkable player & a remarkable man. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just us last season but they way the world cup went too that contributed to how this season has panned out. When I that BR was renting him old family home I presumed that there was a move on somewhere.
I’ll be gutted if he goes to LA. NYC has a massive LFC fanbase and I hope that Yankee stadium (where he wouldn’t be playing) this summer helps influence his decision. If NYC had a Gerrard team against a Lampard team (boy, is he not appreciated here now!), that would be simply massive.
You’ve summed up how I’m feeling perfectly there, mate. I’m shell-shocked, not looking forward to the official announcement, and reports and blurb and shite that’ll inevitably follow and I’m especially not looking forward to seeing our Stevie in a different shirt.
Another superb article, Gareth. Thank you.
This is not a direct reaction to it but rather something it led me to put into words outside my head. I can’t fathom that people who have closely followed Steven Gerrard’s entire career actually believe he would make a decision to leave Liverpool FC for MONEY as the primary factor. This indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of the man himself, his roots and background, how he’s lived his life, his character and integrity, and what drives him.
It indicates they have not been paying attention to what Stevie himself has actually said since April, especially after the World Cup. They’ve not been really seeing the change in his demeanour, in his face and his body language. They haven’t connected those things to what’s happened to him on the pitch these past months.
They also haven’t been honest with themselves or taken responsibility for the devastating impact their vicious public criticism on social media has certainly had. They claim it’s only their isolated ‘opinion’ which they have a ‘right’ to. But they completely miss the huge ripple effect created by their angry, bitter, disrespectful vitriole. They miss entirely that the lazy, unimaginative mainstream print and broadcast media base much of their ‘reporting’ on what they crowdsource from social media, and the fact that that ugliness ultimately reaches millions of readers and listeners.
Louis Suárez said it outright from Brazil — the British press drove him to want to leave. Now Steven Gerrard, a man who has given all he is to his hometown club and certainly turned down many lucrative offers over time, is in a position of having to protect himself and his family from ridicule by the very fans for whom he has sacrificed and adapted again and again.
Steven Gerrard is giving the fans what they’ve asked for, but on his own terms and those terms have nothing to do with money. He’s taking himself out so he can retain his dignity — for himself and his loved ones, for the rest of the life he’ll need to fashion. We are the losers because we never know what we really have until it’s gone.
What next, moaning fans? Drive Brendan Rodgers out? FSG ultimately concluding that the culture at Liverpool Football Club is too toxic to be worth their interest and investment — that Liverpool FC may have managed on the basis of its past history to become a global brand, but beneath the surface it has a provincial, small-club mentality? These things would not surprise me because in the end the fans will get what they deserve, and they will continue to blame anyone and anything but themselves.
What rubbish. He would have been sold at least three years ago by Paisley. He is nothing like the player he was, his contract is up, the club offered him a fair wage for his performance levels, he said “I want more,” in return. £3 million a year isn’t enough for him, he wants £5+ million. Good luck to him if he can get that elsewhere. No one will begrudge him another big payday. Gerrard could have left years ago, for more money too, but he likes his comfort zone too much. Now that he’s at the end of his career, the owners aren’t prepared to pay him big wages, we’ve seen that since they took over and started removing all CL level salaries.
Spare us the Suarez bullshit. Suarez was happy to go to Arsenal, him leaving LFC has nothing to do with the press. After all, it was his own stupidity that repeatedly brought the spotlight on him. More revisionist crap from your good self. Give it up, he saw LFC as a stepping stone, but the club did the decent thing for itself and played hardball for once. Suarez had no love for the club once he saw it wasn’t on the up to challenge in Europe. He wanted out, even to a near rival, albeit one that has been in the CL for the last fifteen years.
Back to Gerrard, he’s been using his chums in the media to put pressure on the club for a higher deal. He’s hardly the character you attempt to portray, and it isn’t the first time. At the end of the day, he’s a club legend well beyond his sell by date. He’s leaving. I fully suspect the mood around the club to improve when he’s gone, and the team to start playing better as they can concentrate on their own game rather that doing the donkey work for an old player.
You’re all over the place, Paul. “He’s leaving because he wanted more money than the club were prepared to pay him…but he could have left years ago for more money”…
Come back when you’re lucid.
“He is nothing like the player he was”
tell me which midfielder we have the club who is? I’m not a manager but if I were, I’m pretty certain I’d pick players on the basis of what they can provide now in absolute terms, rather than whether they are a playing as well as they ever have. That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
I don’t believe Paul is all over the place, it has been widely reported that a contract offer was made in November, clearly this did not match Gerrard’s own valuation, which is fair enough. The inference being he has decided (as is his right) to look elsewhere and reap the reward of being a free agent. Equally in the past he had the opportunity to leave and earn more money (Chelsea, a certain transfer request??) but eventually decided to stay. That was then and this is now.
Don’t confuse this post as being an attack on Gerrard, as I believe him to be one of the best footballers I have ever watched.
There is a direct contradiction in both asserting that he’s leaving now for money reasons whilst pointing out that he could have left previously for more money. There is no way to reconcile those two positions in a way that allows anyone to presume his actions are motivated by money, or he’d have left years ago.
A contract offer is more than just about the number at the bottom of the final page. Much more likely is that Rodgers made it clear his plans for the team meant Gerrard playing 1 in 3 if he was lucky, and that it was this that convinced him to bring the curtain down on his Liverpool career.
There’s no contradiction Brownie. Different times, different stages of his career. He’s done very well from the club, let’s not forget that. Given his last contract I think we can safely assume that his agent has used interest from other clubs to drive a hard bargain. I’ve no problem with that, nor have I any problem with him rejecting the latest offer. This may well be his last contract, so more power to his elbow. I think it will be good for him to get away from the north-west too, it’s a bit of a goldfish bowl and there’ll always be twats looking for a scrap with the tall poppy. He has the chance to live a relatively unpressurised and anonymous life in the States, imagine what a relief that will be after so many years carrying the burden of the red half of the city
Great post Paul. A welcome relief from all of the saccharin-laden nonsense that every reds forum is currently full of.
I just caught the headline about Gerrard finally quitting in the Guardian. My heart leapt and I clicked on the link hoping to hear that Gerrard had announced that he is no longer good enough to make a contribution and that he was quitting today, giving the rest of the squad a chance to rescue a disastrous season.
How naive of me. The club would rather play out the season with ten men and get about 59 points rather than risk showing lese-majeste to the Prince of Huyton.
It’s just embarrassing how soft we are. We don’t deserve to win anything.
OK, let’s load the Aunt Sally onto the sack-truck and wheel it out for Wimbledon then…
Don’t be fooled by how soft we are. The natives of the British Isles were/are emotional and sympathetic, but the Roman Legions were scared shitless by them. They wrote saccharine poetry but tortured captured soldiers and roasted them on a spit… that’s your Celt/Gael for you.
Sentimentality and violence are very closely related Kevin, we all know that, don’t we? Conservatives are alway sentimental.
This is certainly true. Jimmy Case is a prime example of Bob’s ruthlessness.
I like this post because, predictably, I agree with it. Rafa managed him best perhaps. Great player, but we have wasted a year moving him on. I can imagine Totti renting out a pad to his manager, but recent form indicates perhaps how much the Gerrard tail has (been allowed to) wag the Liverpool dog; which the absolute best clubs in their leagues rarely do.
Great article. Sad to hear Steven is taking off the red shirt. My football team is LFC, but I can’t lie, as an American I’m excited to be able to see him play in the flesh. I have enjoyed him on TV for over a decade, but now I can go see him live in a game that, somewhat, matters. He will always be a Red. His utility for our young fast squad is diminishing. Let us far away fans finally be able to enjoy him.
Jamie Redknapp, a great admirer of SG as well as a friend and former teammate, says he doesn’t see SG in a management role. Perhaps as a commentator, but does see him as a force in the US game. I think he could play on at Anfield in a cameo role, but he would NEVER be used sensibly by Brendan Rodgers, as the Leicester game proved conclusively. It would be like putting the Koh-I-Noor diamond in a nose piercing, leaving Steven’s twilight years in the care of a tactical philistine.
Great post … has me , 57 years old in tears … Odd i expected it , i knew it was coming , i know its right , but so sad . A day today to reflect
For God’s sake, pull yourself together.
Cally and Tommy Smith played out the fag-end of their career at Tosh’s Swansea but we’ll always think of them as one-club men won’t we? Steven Gerrard has spent the bulk of his career at Anfield, despite offers from more successful clubs: he’s a one-club man and should be remembered as such. I don’t think he’s our greatest ever player but I’ve never doubted his commitment
Who’ll take the pens?
Funny, isn’t it? Another way of looking at this is to say we’ve just announced our top scorer is leaving the club at the end of this season. And before anyone mentions that he Gerrard takes all the pens and most of the free-kicks, there’s a fucking reason he does that.
Great article Gareth. Certainly chimes with my feelings about Gerrard.
Debate about where he sits in the list of all time greatest Liverpool players is ultimately pointless, but anyone who doubts he belongs right up there simply needs view a compilation of his goals to remind themselves of what a very special player we are losing. He scores all sorts of goals, but so many of them have been spectacular strikes and so many of them have been critical.
I think that’s it. He’s one of those sportsmen whose achievements and abilities defy statistical definition (albeit goals in finals of the UEFA Cup, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup speak for themselves). There are no stats for “presence” or “force of will”. Kind of like Seve in golf and McEnroe in tennis. Judging the worth of such artisans on the basis of games and trophies won is to miss the point spectacularly.
Believe it or not, I’d agree with that. It’s very hard to measure Gerrard against the greats because of the players he had alongside him and the managers and coaching staff he worked with. For me Graeme Souness was our greatest midfielder because he dominated whole seasons rather than games or passages of play, but who’s to know how good Gerrard would have been had he been coached by Ronnie Moran, Joe Fagan and Roy Evans and managed by Bob?
There are examples of players whose brilliance fades when they are complemented by players of comparable ability (big fish in small pond syndrome), but on the few occasions Gerrard had equals to play with (Owen 2002, Torres/Alonso 2009, Suarez 2014), his star didn’t diminish; it shone more brightly. That’s why I have no doubt he’d have excelled at a Man U or Chelsea or indeed in the Liverpool team of the early 80s..
This is true. He thrived in the company of top players. It’s more a case of whether he’d have had the discipline and character: these guys were hardcore and Gerrard’s always struck me as an introvert.
One thought struck me this morning: is it too much to hope that his announcement now will cause one of those surges of positive emotion that could galvanise everyone and push the team to trophies and top 4? I’d prefer the league, obviously, but it might be too late for that…
Yes it is.
Are you really a red? Your posts contain so much anger. If you are a true red then you’re a fuckin’ embarrassment.
With Gerrard leaving do we now a vacuum of leadership within the squad??!!
Only a few short years ago we had Gerrard, Carra, Reina, Suarez, Masch.
How many leaders do we have in the squad now??
Going to take some adjusting to this. My first game was in ’99 so he’s basically all I’ve ever known.
Would really, really prefer another year of him as a starting center back/attacking impact sub before seeing where he’s up to in 2016.
As amazing a player as he was, and for every incredible performance he put in, it does sicken me somewhat so many things get overlooked.
His transfer request to Chelsea and his helping in getting Rafa the sack spring to mind. Even this year the blatant attempts to use the media to hold the club to ransom. He used his journo mates to get a much better contract on a wage he nowhere near deserved. He felt insulted we only offered him £70k per week and made it known in the hopes we’d riot if FSG didnt give him what he wanted and allowed him to leave.
I can only imagine the type of reaction if someone not named Gerrard or someone who wasnt a scouser behaved like he did at certain times.
Why do so many Liverpool fans embarrass themselves like this? Why do so many lend credence to the idea we’re all thick as fuck and deluded beyond a joke?
Can we not give an honest, balanced appraisal of his entire career, or do we simply talk about all the positives and ignore the things that fly in the face of his “Mr Liverpool FC” image?
A wonder player, once in a generation, better than Lampard, Scholes etc, but more like the modern footballer than many of us would have the world believe.
When you strip away the gossip and evidence-free assertion about what he’s supposed to have done/threatened/blackmailed, there’s not a whole lot there.
“Why do so many Liverpool fans embarrass themselves like this?”
It’s a good fucking question.
Spot on….taxi drivers spring to mind
Sorry Brownie, I must have completely imagined a transfer request from Steven Gerrard after Chelsea made a bid of £32m which was rejected in July 2005. I also must have imagined Gerrard admitting he put in a transfer request in interviews and his autobiography since. Yep. Nurse, where are those tablets…..?
12 November 2014 at 2:04 am
…just as I suspect responding to you is bad for (my health). So I’ll make this the last time I address you directly. This selfless act on my part will serve the dual purpose of ensuring I live a few years longers, whilst saving other readers the tedium of watching you and me go back and forth again and again and again…
Thanks Gareth, your article echoed so many of my thoughts. Just a shame he couldn’t have ended his time with us as a league winner. A truly top top player.
its the emotion isn’t it Robbo? You know he feels like us; the empathy is always there. You see his face when he’s done yet another brilliant thing – like one of us in the stands… One of us, always will be.
Hope you slept well ….
This from another red the man is awesome Liverpool fc will find someone as you said you never seen Kenny well a boy came along his name was Gerrard
Good write up Gareth.
Having Gerrard in the team, as the leader of our team, the leader of our club has been massive and a true source of inspiration for thousands of local lads and supporters worldwide. It’s been something that’s set us apart from this sky generation, money orientated era of football. As has been said, world class – from Huyton.
To replace him will be impossible.
Through all the turmoil we’ve been through as supporters and as a club, it was always a source of reassurance to know we had Gerrard leading the lads out (with Carra just behind). Two of our own… Two of us, out there on the field.
I was praying for Flanno to come through to give us that local influence on the pitch as I knew this day wasn’t long off.
Brendan has done a good job of handling the situation and in a strange way it will ease the burden of team selection when he’s gone. None of us can imagine how difficult it’s been to try and accommodate Gerrard, a legend of the club, whose time is up.
Guess we’ll have to dig ourselves out of the shite from now on eh and we’ll move on as a club as always. But it’s the end of an era and I’ll be gutted come the last day of the season..
Gareth! that was absolutely outstanding… I ended up with goosebumps, I could shed tears, what am I left with when Gerrard leaves? So sad… Sad indeed. Accepting the fact hurts like… But wishing him the best is all I could do. Am sad won’t go to bed even if I did I won’t sleep. Saaad!
Let’s not stop with the outpouring of emotion now boys. How about some dreadful poetry?
Preferably stuff that rhymes.
Ian St John found out when his time was up at Anfield. The players used to all get a turkey at Christmas, which they would each go along to pick up. An out of favour St John was prevented from collecting one and was told they were only for the playing staff.
One tough club! A club that knew what it took to succeed. Every tough decision was faced head-on, unblinking and unflinching.
He came from Huyton, two dogs fightin’
When on the ball opponents frightened
Near as damn it a one club icon
when it came to pens you’d bet your house on
He passes from 40 yards
He’s also fuckin’ hard
On the pitch or in wine bars
No more jackets are required
Stevie G has retired
Diouf, Diao, Cheyrou,
Nunez, Gonzalez and Biscan too
Who’d have thought they had the gall
To wear the Red of Liverpool
Poor, poor Scouser Steve,
Can you blame him,wanting to leave?
Just Imagine like John Lennon
If he had left, what story would we be tellin’?
Olympiakas drove us bananas
But Istanbul crowned it all
Big ears back in Liverpool
Gangsters or not, decided to stay
So we could have that Cardiff day
In 2013 We dared to dream
Lead by Captain Fantastic, Supreme
From Fulham away Until that fateful day
When Jordan gave the ball away
Like the Dutch in 74 and Brazil in 82
What a season we went through
He started at the year of eight
Destined to be a Liverpool great
He Chose to wear the number 8
In every position he was great
Forever and ever will rage debate
As to where does Stevie rate
In the pantheon of Anfield great
Who is top is it 7 or is it 8?
Everyone references St John resenting Shankly like a son who’s fallen out with his da but didn’t Shankly win nothing for a good few years because he was emotionally attached to his first great side and the penny only dropped when Yeates’ legs looked gone in an FA cup exit? With a history as vast as ours you can select any example to prove how we should or shouldn’t be conducting ourselves now.
I don’t think anyone who feels Gerrard should stay is irrational and purely emotional, thinking that he’s going to role back a decade to 2005 and 2006 at points next season if he was to stay. Used correctly his quality, experience and winning mentality can still be a huge asset to this team and could be for at least another year. The potentially title-deciding example of Lampard at City is staring everyone in the face. The fact that everything Steven can bring to the table hasn’t been harnessed as well as it could have been with the back half of last season being the big exception is a failing of the manager and the people who have signed the players to come in and play alongside him.
Look at the kip of our transfer record the last five years since Gerrard turned 30. This isn’t the ’70s and ’80s of bombing out older great players who won things and replacing them with younger great players who will win things and it’s not like we are overloaded with elite players performing in their peak years (we currently have none until Sturridge comes back fit) – if we were Gerrard would already be gone by now.
The defence, midfield and attack have all been varying degrees of substandard this season and Gerrard can offer so much in all areas of the pitch. With the farce of a goalkeeping situation I joked if we’re not making saves he could improve us there just by being able to kick it past the halfway line.
The only thing the manager’s guilty of is over-playing him. We can’t have it all ways: Stevie wanted to play every week, he got to play every week. He wasn’t cutting it in CM last season, so the manager worked out a position where he’d have more time on the ball. That didn’t work this season so the manager tried him in CM (mistake), AM (better) and impact sub. He then tried rotating him. I don’t know what more he could have done to keep him happy, but let’s be clear, he wasn’t happy playing a bit part role like Lampard, he wouldn’t be moving otherwise.
Lampard’s a different type of player to Gerrard and has no emotional relationship with City; he wasn’t particularly happy when he was played less at Chelsea.
Not sure the Saint’s the best example, there are plenty of others who were sold on without fuss. But you have a point, fans can be sentimental, clubs and managers can’t afford to be.
Nice article and well balanced. Thanks Stevie G for all you have done for us Reds. You are up with the best of our boys, which given who we are, is about as big a complement as any player could be given.
Time waits for no man and nobody would begrudge you a swan song picking up dosh in the USA. Nice end for you and us.
Steven Gerrard is a man, a lad from Huyton, not a saint or even a hero — just an imperfect man. But he’s a man who understands loyalty and integrity in a world bereft of any. To those ascribing mercenary motives to Steven Gerrard — your statements say everything about who you are and what you are made of, and absolutely nothing about what Steven Gerrard is made of.
It’s become abundantly clear these past several months that the fans at Liverpool Football Club are no longer worthy of having a man of Steven Gerrard’s calibre in their midst. That’s why he’s choosing to leave. And when he’s gone Liverpool Football Club will be a mere football franchise with no distinguishing characteristic from any other English football club. It will be a ground where a small band of people sing a nice song but don’t understand any of the words, a club that turned its back on its own conscience.
I disagree. We all love Stevie to bits and everyone’s going to be weirded out, sad or both but a brave, new world where Henderson’s captain with hopefully Flanagan as his vice would be fucking ace (it’ll probs be Skrtel though). Silver linings and that.
No room left for sentiment in this football world. Everyone knows everything and everyone knows better. No Joy, no love, no passion just a misplaced theory that we should win everything and do it with bells on. Never mind that winning the league is directly linked to the money being spent.
Entertain me or you can fuck off.
Eighth after half a season..? Sack the manager.
Gerrard getting past it..? Boot him out.
Sad thing is that the small band of people are getting smaller and smaller.
‘Liverpool Football Club exists to win trophies.’ Bill Shankly’s words.
Aye, can’t mention sentiment without getting sentimental about our Bill – and in today’s world he would probably have been given the boot for not getting us promotion after two seasons.
Lets hope we win one of the pots this season, with a win away on Monday to start..!!
If you can’t support us when we draw or lose, don’t support us when we win.
Talented loyal courageous leader Steven Gerrard our captain fantastic respect to the man who brought us so many heart stopping moments to our red hearts #LFC #YNWA
That’s a really nice piece Gareth. I was feeling a little blasé about it all last night when the rumours were slowly becoming fact. We knew this was going to happen. I was getting fed up with the sniping about him and even started to believe some of it myself. I woke this morning to read the actual facts. That is when it hit me. I read comments from current and former teammates and digested it all a little more. I had a lump in my throat. A realisation. This is huge. The one player who I have cherished in my adult life is leaving the club I have supported since the early 80s. A true icon within the game. I wish him well and thank him for what he has brought to my life. I just wish there were more players like him.
Maybe I am a Dinosaur but I have watched my beloved reds since 1947/48 when my dad took me and sat me on the wall in the paddock Yes what a great article about Stevie spoilt by the replies by the numties The man dragged this club back into games that were dead and buried .with the clowns in charge now we might as well nail the lid on the coffin Steven should’ve gone when Mourinho came in for him the quality of players around him would have enhanced his game (he would have strolled through the game ) And his trophy cabinet would have been busting open .The trouble is we have now got a second rate manager who can’t pick a team who thinks that he has invented football with tactics or is it tictacts sideways backwards football that’s to slow and gives the oppo time to get eleven players behind the ball oh for a Shanks paisley fagan Kenny YES I GUESS I AM A DINO
A cynic might think he is only staying until season’s end to allow Rodgers time to find new digs.
I’d evict him, personally…
Let’s put it this way. Steven Gerrard is the last footballer of his type you will ever see. Nobody else – ever – will join his home club at the age of eight and stay there for a quarter of a century. This is not just the end of an era at Liverpool, it is the end of football as it once was.
Despite being a chelsea fan I read this site very regularly as it so grounded in real fans views. I’ve always respected Gerrard and have no truck with a certain song sung about him currently. He always brought a respectful smile to my face; he Was Liverpool and when those rumours of him coming to Stamford bridge were circulating I hoped he wouldn’t come. Not because he wouldn’t have been excellent he would have been, but that’s not the point. He belonged at Liverpool.
I hope he does go to the USA. Watching Frank play for Citeh is gutting, you boys don’t want to see that next season.
If I was a LFC fan I would actually be concerned that one more reason for players to join Liverpool has gone. Steven Gerrard.
great writing Gareth….
We all have our memories of him…
Dave Mol’s sister Jacqui (Australia)
Feeling nostalgia as I think I was born in HUYTON