It may be not too far away from us when Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from the English Premier League as well, but it doesn’t look like Liverpool fans have anything to worry about for the time being, with Gerrard not missing a single minute of football so far this season.
No other player has done that. Yes, Steven Gerrard, with the never ending groin problem that keeps him out of a few matches each season, has played in all 2250 minutes for his club this season, scoring 6 goals and adding 9 assists this season, as Brendan Rodgers has shifted him around the midfield, only recently getting more chances and freedom to play a more forward role, where he is more comfortable.
The fact that Liverpool are in the Europa League and not the Champions League is probably worth noting – Rodgers has mostly used youngsters in his European campaign, Steven Gerrard playing in a total of four matches, starting in two of them.
With the return of Lucas to the lineup, Gerrard no longer has to help Joe Allen in the defensive midfield, allowing him to play much closer to Luis Suarez and now Daniel Sturridge, making a Liverpool a much more attacking side after struggling to score goals earlier this season. Joe Allen is now out of the lineup, Jordan Henderson taking his place, in what seemed to be a roller coaster ride of decision making for Rodgers this season in the middle of the pitch – Allen, Sahin (already gone), Shelvey and Henderson in the lineup. There’s also Coutinho to think about from now on.
The previous couple of seasons were rough on Gerrard, not just because of injuries but also the decline of the team from the peak in the 2008-2009 season. It seems that his declining physical form was catching up with his ability to influence the team on the pitch like he did in the past, playing in only 39 league matches over the two seasons, scoring a total of nine goals.
Some might argue Gerrard has been the best midfielder in the Premier League this season, a league that isn’t high on quality midfielders, usually bringing to light the talents of fantastic goalscorers instead of quality midfielders this season. Frank Lampard is somehow, despite not playing well, still getting on the score-sheet. Gerrard looks very good for Liverpool when Rodgers isn’t holding them back too much. There’s still plenty of football left in the only remaining relic for Liverpool from their Champions League triumph in 2005.