Liverpool FC: What the Absence of Steven Gerrard Means for the Midfield

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 13: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool in action with Dean Whitehead of Stoke City during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Liverpool at Britannia Stadium on November 13, 2010 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Jake RoddCorrespondent IIIJuly 30, 2011

After making only eight appearances under Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard was keen to be fit for selection at the beginning of the season. However, his injury is taking longer than expected to heal , as an infection related to an ongoing groin problem is forcing the captain to remain hospitalized.

Disappointed as all fans will be, it is important to remember that this is the perfect opportunity to test our new midfield recruits. Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and other so-called "fringe" players will be given the chance to impress, and that should provide an incentive for them to give their all to Liverpool Football Club.

The absence of the skipper could have many outcomes, but here are a few that I think are likely:

1. Jordan Henderson is put into Gerrard's place and does extremely well, and is heavily praised. When Gerrard comes back (in September), Henderson becomes the ideal impact player.

2. Jordan Henderson is put into Gerrard's place and looks out of place. The pressure is too great and he becomes a fringe player, or is sent out on loan.

3. Kenny Dalglish is forced to adopt a more attacking style of play due to lack of proven midfielders. A 4-3-3 formation is deployed, so Gerrard's absence brings about the ideal chance to practice more attacking formations.

4. Charlie Adam is used in Gerrard's place. The Scott proves he is able to replace Gerrard when required (hopefully).

5. Raul Meireles plays in Gerrard's position, as he did at the end of last season.

Those are the ideal solutions, and outcomes. It may turn out that Liverpool lack a leader in midfield, and that will be shown in poor results. Only time will tell, but I feel that Gerrard's three-match absence is the ideal chance for the new signings to show what they can do.

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