Steven Gerrard is undoubtably one if the best players to ever have played for Liverpool. For well over a decade he has at times, single handedly carried our team, whenever we have won anything over that period Gerrard is at the centre of it, he is simply a legend. But time passes and as he is reaching the later stages of his career the debate rages on how to best utilise him in the new look Liverpool.
It seems like it has always been the case that supporters and media have always argued as to where Gerrard should play, on the right, through the centre, as a box to box player or more of an attacking player and to be honest it's never really mattered he has had the ability to excel in any position always standing out as world class no matter what he is asked to do. Gerrard still has all the ability but age is now starting to catch up and have an effect, along with this Gerrard has had a tough career with not only injuries but I believe his style of play, all action, combative, box to box, physical style also taking its toll.
Brendan Rodgers has made the decision over the last year to move Gerrard a bit further back on the field, with him acting in a quarterback style of play, attempting to use his passing to control and effect the game from this deeper position. In my opinion he is not currently playing as a traditional defensive midfielder, he is certainly not a destroyer, that's not his roll, although I'd do believe that with him sitting deeper, often as far back as between the centre backs gives us the confidence to release the full backs providing the width when we play the diamond formation.
This season Liverpool have started poorly, there are many reasons for the poor start and it's certainly not down to any individual but several players are struggling for form and Gerrard is one of them, he hasn't suddenly become a poor player it's just not working for him at the moment, on top of that many teams are now detailing a player to pressure Gerrard when he has the ball making it far more difficult for him than some games last season, also, he is, at times, becoming isolated in his defensive roll allowing players to run at him. He hasn't become a poor player or unsuited to this roll it is a combination of a poor run of from and teams working out our tactics.
Many people are suggesting that Gerrard move position again some suggesting that he would be able to play even further back in central defence, I'm not sure, he definitely has the ability, but his strength has always been his attacking with his defending, not a weakness, but weaker, he is a midfield player one of the best in the world so let him play there. Others are suggesting a move further forward, back to his older attacking midfield role. I don't agree, he was moved back for a reason as he was getting older the pace dropped a little, the power dropped a little, again he does have the quality to play here but no longer the ability to produce the all action displays we remember, not for ninety minutes and not for every game. Another argument against moving Gerrard further forward is that we have other, quality players in this area of the field, we can only play eleven players and we have Sterling, Lallana, Coutinho and at times Henderson all playing "No 10" who do we drop.
Gerrard will come back into form as I believe the team will but we have to ask if Gerrard can any longer play a full ninety minutes in every game, I'm not sure he can, but in any case it is time to start looking at what we do when he is no longer around. There is times when he should be dropped to the bench with others given his roll. I think that this is the solution, he can hold back the years a little if he doesn't have to play the whole game surely half an hour of the old dynamic Gerrard is well worth using and what an impact he could make in games. Play full games when fully rested and on other occasions give us twenty to thirty minutes of full on dynamic Gerrard. This would keep him fit, extend his career, allow him to affect games and win us points and would also allow a younger player to gain experience in playing in his role when he isn't there.
There will be a time when we have to admit that he has to hang up his boots, but that's for Gerrard to decide and not us as fans, we can just hope for many more superb performances before he has to step down