Steven Gerrard stepped onto the Anfield pitch for the last time day before. Emotions ran high, as they always do when it comes to Liverpool and Steven Gerrard and even though Liverpool lost, Gerrard didn’t get onto the score sheet and the game was a disappointing one for Stevie G’s faithful, it takes nothing away from his great and glittering career.
Gerrard brought laughter, tears and joy not just to the Kop and the millions of ‘Pool fans around the world, but football fans in general too. Who isn’t going to miss his free kicks and long distance piledrivers? Arguably England’s greatest midfielder, but let’s leave that debate for later. Gerrard has defined the present Liverpool generation and led from the front for almost 12 years after succeeding Sami Hyypia as captain. A proud owner of a trophy cabinet that would lead many to jealousy, a special spot, reserved for the Premier League Winner’s Medal will forever go empty. Last season may be the closest he ever got, before his famous slip. Gerrard has been oft quoted as the shining example of a one club player and there’s no doubt that he served Liverpool arguably better than anyone before and anyone ever can. But is the aura of the man self created, an illusion or a true picture of his love for the club?
Gerrard could have been partnering Frank Lampard at Chelsea from 2004 had all gone to plan. Houllier, the manager who handed him club captaincy had resigned, Liverpool had gone through a trophy less season and he was disillusioned with the ‘progress that the club was making’. Maybe England would have finally seen the dream midfield pairing actually click, but Gerrard received threats to his life and family and ultimately the deal fell through and he stayed in the north of the country. Two seasons later, he would go on to lift the Champions League in the classic final at Istanbul against AC Milan. Life takes strange turns and works in stranger ways for Gerrard.
Gerrard’s famous slip will haunt him forever, whether he likes it or not and drama has followed him around throughout his career. But some of it does seem self imposed. Gerrard sheds way too many tears. It is understandable to an extent, considering his attachment to the club, but come on Steve, grow up a bit.
Despite his shortcomings, Gerrard stuck through tough times with Liverpool. And no matter what one might say, he was and still just might be one of the most complete midfielders the Premier League has ever seen. Surprising as it may sound from a United fan, Gerrard will be missed and he does deserve a great amount of appreciation for his services to the game.