Why Do Liverpool Still Rely On Gerrard For Success?
Liverpool have been slated time and time again this season for their apparent lack of winning mentality. With only 11 wins out of a possible 28 in the league and a laughable chance conversion rate, it is right to question what is going wrong. What has been missing?
Everyone was quick to blame Andy Carroll. That £35 million price tag has been haunting him for 14 months now and no he hasn't scored a stack of goals or even got a lot of assists but neither have Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson or Charlie Adam. All signed in the last year, all more or less first team players, a combined £100 million and a combined 12 goals in the league. Not good enough for a team that not too long ago called themselves European champions.
On the other hand Steven Gerrard, who has started only seven league games this season, has five goals. I think he's what Liverpool are missing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not only bothered about the goals he scores, even though it really is helping. But for over ten years now Gerrard has been the rock in the centre of an ever-changing starting 11. I can't deny great players have come and gone, but every single Liverpool team of the last decade has needed Steven Gerrard to cement success.
He has been credited with guiding his team to European success, FA Cup glory, League Cup glory and up until recent years, a solid top four finish. I can ride the Gerrard bandwagon all day long but in terms of the football club, I hate the fact that we rely on him.
He is now getting injured more often, because of this he has lost a step. He still influences a game but doesn't control it like he used to and one day soon he is going to retire. At the moment Liverpool can't afford for this to happen.
I want the youth at Liverpool to be rejuvenating, clinical, influential and to stop taking just a point away from teams that are relegation contenders. I want a team that doesn't need Steven Gerrard in the side to be able to get three points away at the likes of Wigan. I want a team that's chance conversion rate is not 9% and I want a team that can score more than three goals in a league game on more than three occasions.
Unfortunately, the worry is that Liverpool will ride on their League Cup success and promising FA Cup progression and forget that their league performances have been below par. To just match last season, they need sixteen points from the last ten matches. A top four finish was the aim, but with a ten point gap and the club currently stuck in 7th, it's looking rather impossible to achieve.
It's still early days but it looks like Gerrard's return to fitness is inspiring his teammates to hit the back of the net and he himself is getting some crucial goals. Had he been fit throughout the season, I believe a top four finish would have been much more reachable.
In some games he hasn't even played that well, but for Liverpool Steven Gerrard is much more than just a player on the pitch and much more than a captain. He inspires a Liverpool team that have until late settled with a point or nothing on too many occasions to now go on and push for three points. I just wish he didn't have to.