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Gerrard - No defensive role for me yet
, Fri 17/08/12 at 12:06
Don't expect Steven Gerrard to reinvent himself as a defensive midfielder any time soon.
The skipper turned 32 in May but sees no reason why he cannot continue to operate as the same dynamic midfielder who has been winning games for Liverpool for the last 14 years.
And it seems new boss Brendan Rodgers is in full agreement.
"The manager has spoken to me about what role he sees me filling and I still think he sees me as an attacking midfielder," Gerrard told newspaper reporters.
"As we work through the ages, maybe 33 or 34, then maybe I might be dropping a bit deeper, but I don't think anything is going to change in my game this season.
"I still think I can play a dynamic energy-type game. I'm prepared to adapt and I'll do whatever the manager wants, but I can still play the same way.
"I think people want me to say I can't play the same way anymore, that I have to go deeper to control the game from deep and play a slower game, but believe me, it's not happening, not yet."
Gerrard points to his training data as proof that he will still be one of the most energetic players on Barclays Premier League pitches during the next nine months.
He added: "I've got (head of fitness and conditioning) Darren Burgess and the other staff who collect figures every day. They measure my heart-rate, the amount of running you do, high tempo, low tempo.
"They haven't come to me yet and said, 'Listen, I don't think you can play the way you've been playing for the last 10 years'. They will do that one day. They'll come to me and say, 'You might need to adapt your game', but it hasn't come to that yet.
"I know I'm not going to be bombing forward every few seconds without a care of what's happening behind me. Of course I have to play with my brain and pick the right time to go. I appreciate I'm no spring chicken, but I don't think I have to say I'm ready to play a different position.
"My figures in the Euros were as good as any player there, so I don't need to say I have to play a different role - that I'm thinking of a Paul Scholes role.
"He is five years older than me! I'm not thinking about five years' time. I might not want to play in five years. I'm not looking that far ahead.
"I'll play while I'm enjoying it and feel I can have a big impact. If in a couple of years' time I don't think I can be the player I want to be then maybe it's time to stop.
"I'll play the Scholes role when I feel it's time. I can play that role no problem. I played it when I was 21, but it's not time yet."
Gerrard has led Liverpool to glory at Wembley, Cardiff and across Europe.
He is the captain of England, was granted an MBE by the Queen and has won the annual awards dished out by both the PFA and football writers.
And yet he still feels as though he needs to prove himself to new man Rodgers.
"As a player, the mentality you have to have when a new manager comes in is that you are starting again," said Gerrard.
"You can't use what you have done in the past. I have got to make sure that I play well this season.
"I've had half of the previous two seasons and it's been frustrating because of the injuries. I want to take my form from the Euros into this season. That is my plan.
"For the other players, they have got to prove it every day. I think every day you have got a chance to show the manager that you should be in his starting line-up.
"Even though I am 32 and I have done what I have done, I still try and impress the manager every day."
I think he definitely has this season at least playing in a more advanced role, but from next season onwards dropping further back will have to be considered.
Sun 19/08/12 at 13:32
in any case he will be behind someone so it's not really a striker role is it
Sun 19/08/12 at 14:20
Sun 19/08/12 at 14:37
or never. Playing behind the striker or a 'false 9' bullshit is all it'll be
Sun 19/08/12 at 20:06
I find the notion of Gerrard playing upfront to be ridiculous.
He is a world class central midfielder and were he to be tried out as a striker, it would have happened a very long time ago.
Sun 19/08/12 at 20:20
Well, that's sorted that then.
I think he does need to play a more advanced role but not as a centre forward. What used to be known as inside right would be ideal, IMO.
Whereever he plays he has to get involved throughout the 90. I thought he had a stinker yesterday, but he wasn't on his own.
Sun 19/08/12 at 20:31
I think his best role has been in behind the striker. When he supported Torres in that role a few years ago, he was brilliant.
He was also very good on the right several years ago, but I don't see him going back there either.
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