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The Captain. The Heartbeat of the team. The Driving Force.
Just three of the many terms used to describe Steven Gerrard's place at Liverpool over the past few years. Gerrard has been Liverpool's best and most important player for many years now, and while I feel that Luis Suarez is now the owner of the title "Liverpool's best player," Gerrard is still our most important.
Without Steven Gerrard, Liverpool stand as much a chance of winning the title as Harry Redknapp does of being chosen as the next male model for Calvin Klein underwear.
Gerrard is coming off two disappointing seasons in a row for the first time in his career. Last season was lost to injuries, including the groin ailment that has kept him out of the start of this season; the season before was just a poor one for captain and club.
Steven Gerrard has a point to prove coming into this season. People have started writing him off, saying that he will never be the same player he once was. I disagree with those people.
I think Gerrard has two great seasons left in him, and probably four left overall. If he is to ensure that I can smugly say "I told you so" to those Gerrard doubters come May, then Kenny Dalglish needs to handle him properly.
Gerrard has a long history of muscle injuries, and this latest one is the most worrying of all. When he returns, Kenny needs to ensure that he's not overplayed and that he's wrapped in cotton wool between games. I feel a need to the right side of midfield is the best way to bring Gerrard into the new-look Liverpool team.
Stevie's best season came in Rafa Benitez's second year, where he played right side of midfield and was nothing short of incredible all season. He also played right side of midfield for the majority of the treble winning season under Gerard Houllier, and in my view, that's where Kenny should play him.
Gerrard's always been known for his spectacular goals, his driving runs and his dynamic displays. The most overlooked aspect of his game, and in my view one of his greatest attributes, is his fantastic crossing ability. Liverpool have a certain No. 9 who thrives on great crosses, and from the right, Gerrard can provide them.
If Gerrard is eased through the first half of the season, then come January he can be properly unleashed, and he can have the huge impact we all know he is capable of in the second half of the season.