Steven Gerrard Is Holding Back Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers
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When Brendan Rodgers was appointed as manager of Liverpool Football Club in the summer of 2012, I was delighted.
I am not a Liverpool fan, but I was pleased to see that a young British manager had been given a chance to manage one of the top clubs in the country, instead of a big-name foreigner coming in.
Rodgers had done a fantastic job at Swansea, getting them to play an exciting brand of football that was reminiscent of Barcelona's. Their high-pressure, fluid passing game took the Premier League by surprise last season, and Rodgers deservedly took a great deal of credit for this.
It was only a matter of time before one of the big clubs came calling.
He inherited a Liverpool squad bloated by the poor transfer dealings of Kenny Dalglish, although there were a couple of bright spots for him to work with: the outstanding Luis Suarez, someone to build his team around, and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
However, Steven Gerrard is not the kind of player the talented manager normally favours.
Rodgers likes a brand of short passing that allows his side to maintain possession while it probes the opposition's defence for an opening.
That has never been Gerrard's style of play. He has never been one for patient build-up play. He has always driven Liverpool and England on, spraying passes around the pitch and trying to get the ball forward as quickly as possible.
While this has undoubtedly been a success throughout his distinguished career, it is not the style of play Rodgers has implemented throughout his managerial career. The problem Rodgers faces is that, in the eyes of many Liverpool fans, Gerrard is indispensable.
He can't be seen upsetting the star man, in much the same way Alan Shearer influenced a succession of Newcastle United managers. Gerrard is too long in the tooth to change the way he plays the game, but if he doesn't, Rodgers can't manage the team on his terms.
With Liverpool results on a gradual upturn after a difficult start to the 2012-13 season, Rodgers is looking more and more assured in his position at the club. I don't think he will ever attempt to rid himself of a player of Gerrard's class and commitment.
But I do think it is only a matter of time before Gerrard finds himself marginalised as the team continues to revolve around the talents of Suarez, Raheem Sterling and Joe Allen.
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