Steven Gerrard didn’t get the captain’s armband in the friendly against the Netherlands, while Scott Parker did. Right, wrong? It doesn’t really matter. Because a captain isn’t such an important title as it once was, and because both Steven Gerrard and Liverpool will benefit from a lessened role with the national team.
With 32 rapidly approaching and injuries behind him and ahead of him to be sure, Steven Gerrard is not the player he once was. He still has that ability to affect everyone around him on the pitch just by being there, but his ability to create chances for himself and teammates and his long range ability just isn’t there anymore. Not consistently, at least.
Gerrard has always relied on physical dominance besides being a very intelligent player, with great passing and finishing skills. His ability to win battles by sliding or by the shrug of a shoulder has waned over the years and as those groin injuries kept coming back for more. He was never fast as a bullet, but those long legs and long strides meant he never had much trouble reaching passes that weren’t meant for his feet. Again, that is a fading quality from his game.
International games and tournaments, no matter how much Gerrard does crave for them or not, won’t do him any good. And the football world is club-centric nowadays, and I’m pretty sure most of the players are as well. Gerrard’s main goal should be to perform well for Liverpool, and be healthy for his day time job, not the once in a month national gig.Especially when he isn’t the main show, or part of it anymore. Just a player, who used to be great, but isn’t much so anymore, and needs to learn his limitations so he can bring the best out and remain relatively healthy.
I don’t know if Gerrard will get to win more major titles with Liverpool, although I do feel, despite the 7th place in the table right now, that the club is going in the right direction. They did overspend this summer on some players, especially Englishmen, but winning their first title in six years, minor as it may be, does change something and open an appetite.
Steven Gerrard has won 3 League Cups, two FA Cups, One Champions League and one UEFA League trophy with Liverpool. I don’t know about ever winning a league title, if it’s in the cards for him and the club, but it’s safe to say he deserves a bit more silverware on his resume. Still being an instrumental part of the team, Gerrard must realize that more success with the reds must mean taking a step back from his duties with England.