At the age of 34, it seems like Steven Gerrard has been around forever in English football. But it all has to come to an end at some point as he thinks about retirement and spending more time with his friends and family and, perhaps, moving into coaching or punditry.
After a disappointing World Cup, Gerrard announced his retirement from the international game to focus on the rest of his domestic career. But how long does he have left?
Gerrard made his debut in 1998 and has racked up an impressive 481 games, scoring 113 goals for The Reds.
He has won every trophy he can apart from the Premier League, which will be his goal before he retires, but he will need to rely on his teammates for that to happen. Going from an attacking midfielder scoring goals for fun, he has dropped back to sitting just in front of the defence where he does not need to work as hard as he used to, all due to his age mainly and the fact he doesn’t have that remarkable engine of old.
Steven Gerrard is still a huge player to have in the team as captain. The other players look up to him, and his mental side of the game is still as good as when he started as well as his accuracy, but he is getting slower and games are getting harder for him.
By the end of this season he will be 35 and with younger players improving, he may have to accept taking a back seat role to allow them to develop.
It won’t be a bad choice to have him sit on the bench for part of the season, this helped Jamie Carragher when he got to the same stage of his career. Even though he is a Liverpool hero, he is only human and may only have 2 years left in him at his best. The fixture build up this season will add more miles to his clock and the pressure that comes along could take its toll earlier than he expected them too.
With the likes of Jordan Henderson as vice-captain, it shows Liverpool are looking to a future when Gerrard is not around, and perhaps seeing Henderson as his replacement. Along with young players such as Emre Can being purchased, a player who has shown a lot of potential, Liverpool are looking for the next options in a time when age is against their captain.
This all doesn’t mean he isn’t important to the club, as his presence alone will aid anyone new coming in wanting to take his spot but Steven Gerrard’s days are numbered.
By Matt Hill – Liverpool fan – @