England’s Euro sojourn ended when they paid the penalty to Italy.
Steven Gerrard did the best he could as skipper of the Three Lions team, but his best wasn’t enough to secure them a spot in the semis.
His performances were better than his teammates', but certainly his class has gone down by several notches. Gerrard struggled for the possession of the ball and his passes were too inaccurate at times.
Clearly, age has gotten to him. And it won’t be long before the Liverpool skipper’s club performance levels begin to drop as well, until such a day when his services will no longer be required.
Gerrard, from a personal point of view, is the greatest player to have ever played for Liverpool. But the fact remains that Liverpool—beginning now—should prepare for life without Gerrard.
Gerrard has been the talisman for LFC for so long, but the time is now right to look for the next person strong enough to carry the club on his own.
Steven Gerrard is a player known to lead by inspiring his teammates to perform.
Liverpool’s Danish centre back isn’t too different to Gerrard in leadership style and is the senior most defender behind Jamie Carragher.
Agger is a natural leader and his commanding presence at the back in Liverpool’s defence was one of the major reasons for the club’s strong defensive record for the first half of the last season.
Considered one amongst the few world class talents at the club, Daniel Agger—when uninjured—is every bit a talismanic player for Liverpool.
His presence in the Liverpool team is enough to ensure that opponents have a tough time trying to find a break through.
Pepe Reina is for Liverpool what Iker Casillas is for Real Madrid and Spain—indispensable.
The Spanish stopper—who joined the Reds in the summer of 2005—has been an ever present in the first eleven.
Currently the third captain at the club, Reina has virtually stormed his way to being the best goalkeeper in the history of Liverpool Football Club.
Reina’s influence at the back is invaluable. So is his ability, which puts him in the bracket of the world’s best goalkeepers.
Reina is the kind of player who has the ability to uphold team spirit when the morale is down. When on top of his game, he can very much be the source of inspiration for his teammates.
His ball distribution ability is unparalleled in the Premier League, and for this reason he is another suitable candidate to take over from Steven Gerrard as the talismanic player of the club.
And I’m not joking!
For the record, Andy Carroll, currently isn’t anywhere near the potential that would make him a talismanic player for any club, let alone Liverpool.
But the former Newcastle striker can work his way into becoming one if he starts firing on all cylinders.
If Andy Carroll were to show the potential of 2010—which also made him the most expensive British player—then there is no one at Merseyside who wouldn’t take him to heart.
And if Carroll is able to sustain that level of performance for his club, then there is no doubt that he can become a talismanic player like Liverpool's former number 9’s in Fernando Torres, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and Ian St. John did before him.
Ambitious, confident, extremely talented, leader, controversial and at times volatile—these few terms can best describe Luis Suarez.
Suarez filled the void created by Fernando Torres’ departure to Chelsea and was already on his way to become the club’s driving force until controversies stalled his ascent and divided opinions amongst people.
What attracts Liverpool supporters to Suarez?
He is the kind of trickster that they’ve been yearning for. His ability to jink and nutmeg defenders, his passion to play and fighting spirit is what appeals to supporters.
He has lead from the front during his time at Ajax and it is this champion’s mentality and the hunger to succeed that serves him well as a suitable candidate to be the next talismanic Liverpool player.
A true Red—in every sense of the word—Martin Kelly is perhaps the next generation scouser who can probably succeed Gerrard, and in the process secure his status as a club icon.
Kelly—a centre back by trade—is a versatile defender who currently acts as cover for Glen Johnson in the first team.
Widely underutilised, the native scouser has been on the books at Liverpool since the age of seven and has struggled to break through because of both lack of opportunities and injuries.
Jordan Henderson was another option. Granted, Henderson may claim leverage, for he skippers the England U-21 squad.
But the person who made him captain—Stuart Pearce—is the same man who chose Scott Parker over Steven Gerrard to lead the Three Lions squad. So, we can’t take his decision making skills seriously.
Anyway, Kelly is probably the best scouse footballer to have come through the academy ranks after Steven Gerrard.
Local players playing for their hometown clubs have become a rarity these days, especially when you consider the Premier League.
Taking a look back at Stevie G’s career, one can find a happy scouser who is proud and humbled to have played for and represented his club and city at continental and international levels.
In many supporters eyes, Stevie G will probably remain the best talent to come out of the city of Liverpool, followed by Wayne Rooney.
As of now, he is still the shining jewel and the captain who leads by example. He is the one who’s been carrying this club for quite some time now.
He is Steven Gerrard and it is going to be a mighty heavy task for the people at LFC to find his replacement.