Liverpool's Steven Gerrard Should Play on for England Beyond World Cup

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Liverpool's Steven Gerrard Should Play on for England Beyond World Cup
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According to David Anderson in the Mirror, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers believes Steven Gerrard, England's soon-to-be-34-year-old captain, can continue to play at international level after this summer's World Cup in Brazil.

Rodgers is quoted as saying:

He's coped really well with balancing both. So that will be a decision purely for him.

He keeps himself fit - every player at Liverpool has an individual plan - but what will be will be after the World Cup. He goes there in great form, and I'm sure he will perform really well.

If he ever asked my advice, I will always be there to give my opinion. But there will be no decision made now, and we will see what happens after the World Cup.

It's difficult to argue with Rodgers' assessment given Gerrard's form this season and his new, less strenuous, deep-lying midfield role. Like many before him, his move backward should see less energy expended, and he will likely get a few more years at the top in that position.

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He no longer has to charge around trying to singlehandedly win matches running from box to box, playing the role of three players. He can now sit deep and look to spray balls around, much like the wonderful Xabi Alonso did at Anfield a few years ago and continues to do for Real Madrid.

Gerrard's superb range of passing means he is well capable of playing that role, as he demonstrated this season with a series of excellent performances. He was named in the Premier League Team of the Year and was shortlisted for the PFA Player of the Year award.

Despite the form of Luis Suarez, many feel it was Gerrard's ability to dictate play and launch attacks that saw Liverpool jump from seventh to second in the space of 12 months, a leap up the table unprecedented in the Premier League era.

And with England's focus on youth evident in Roy Hodgson's squad selection for the World Cup, the experience that Gerrard brings could be crucial. It's likely Hodgson, who has been widely praised for his decision to trust England's excellent crop of young players this summer, will continue this theme beyond the tournament in Brazil, and he will want a few top-quality seasoned campaigners involved in Euro 2016 qualifying.

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Gerrard fits the bill perfectly. He commands respect, is still performing brilliantly and leads by example during England's training camps.

With Liverpool back in the Champions League next season, there's no doubt Gerrard will need to manage his body intelligently, but with his experience and new position in the side, there's nothing stopping him being involved beyond this summer's showpiece event.

Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.

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