Steven Gerrard was an all-action midfielder in his time. Passing, shooting, creating, controlling the game – the man could do it all.
Liverpool fans witnessed him be the difference between winning and losing, so many times. There have been very few players in history who could change a game on their own, consistently. He single-handedly carried Liverpool in big games and major cup finals with the 2005 UEFA Champions League vs. AC Milan being the best example.
It is impossible to believe that Liverpool would’ve made that comeback without their mercurial midfielder.
Stevie G, as they call him at Anfield, was the backbone of his side for nearly two decades & led them to many trophies, and gave the fans a plethora of memories to cherish.
However, one can say that he was also quite unlucky. He was playing in an era where Liverpool were no longer the dominant side in England or Europe.
There was the ever-present threat of Manchester United, who were winning titles left, right & center. Then there was Arsenal who were unplayable at times, during the first half of the 21st century & Chelsea, who have been the most successful team in the country since Roman Abramovich took over in 2004.
Not only were his unfancied Liverpool up against these teams in his prime but he also had the content with the newly emerged Manchester City towards the latter end of his playing career.
All these factors meant that Steve Gerrard could not lead his Liverpool team to the coveted Premier League title – something that Jurgen Klopp and his current Liverpool team managed to do in 2020.
Recently on the subreddit r/LiverpoolFC, a compilation was uploaded which consisted of clips of Gerrard playing for Liverpool and the current side stitched together.
It was meant to give the fans a glimpse of how he would’ve fit in this juggernaut that Jurgen Klopp has created. You can see that it contains clips of Gerrard playing long balls, scoring goals, assisting, creating chances, among other things – which is exactly what he could do, basically everything.
Come to think of it, it is quite the mouth-watering prospect. This current team is devoid of any significant weaknesses, and to add an all-action player like Steven Gerrard, who in his prime would’ve walked into any team in the world, to this team would make them nearly unplayable!
Gerrard’s early part of his career was marred with injuries and being played out of position. However, he overcame those issues and cemented himself as an integral part of the team during the 2000-01 season, at the end of which Liverpool won the cup treble.
Once he’d settled in, he rapidly became one of the best players in world football. Passing, aggression, ability, drive, goals, the ability to be able to take a game by the scruff of its neck, he had absolutely everything.
Comparing these traits to the current Liverpool team, there is hardly anyone who brings to the table what Gerrard did. Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Henderson, these are all very good players in their own right but Stevie G could do what all of them can by himself.
In his prime, Gerrard was a box-to-box midfielder who could do it all. Towards the latter end of his career, when his legs started deteriorating, his then-manager Brendan Rodgers started playing him in a more withdrawn, deeper role.
With his intelligence and passing, Gerrard could control the game and see what was happening in front of him all the time. He, of course, excelled in this position as well. Combined with the front three of Sterling, Suarez, and Sturridge, they so nearly propelled Liverpool to their first league title in over two decades. The role he played then is similar to what Thiago Alacantra does at Liverpool now.
Simply put, Steven Gerrard was unique in the way that he combined all aspects of a world-class midfielder and paired it with a leader’s mentality, which allowed him to carry Liverpool for nearly two decades, and if given the chance, the Kop would take Stevie G back in the current team in a heartbeat!