Steven Gerrard returned from injury against Swansea on Monday night to help Liverpool win their sixth consecutive game away from home and their fifth victory in a row in total. Liverpool are the from team in the Premier League right now winning eleven games and drawing two in their last thirteen games. The majority of these games have been without Steven Gerrard in the side. Many are wondering if Steven should start against Manchester United as it’ll be his last game against them.
So what are the advantages and disadvantages of Steven Gerrard in the current Liverpool team?
Why should Gerrard be picked?
- Experience against United and a great goal record. He’s scored nine against the bitter rivals in his career which is the third highest total he has against any club. A tenth would be great.
- He’s the key Set piece and penalty taker at the club. The set pieces in the current set up without Gerrard are woeful and he is an asset with the dead ball.
- It’s his last game against them, yes the sentimental card can be played as an advantage because you know Steven will give his all in this game.
- Van Gaal has been using Fellaini to bully sides in recent games, well if you can call it bullying, but Steven handled him very well last season at Old Trafford and Brendan Rodgers may opt to have that security this time around too.
- Whatever the formation was against Swansea in the second half (diamond, box or 3-6-1), it worked! A start for Stevie in the same position as deepest of the midfielders could bring similar results!
Why should Gerrard be left out?
- Gerrard certainly has slowed the game down this season and doesn’t have the quickness of previous years whereas this Liverpool side have shown how hard they can work with games like Manchester City being examples of that. The diamond with the back four suited him last term but it was found out early and Gerrard can be marked out of games if someone is placed strategically to man mark him.
- An excellent record without Steven Gerrard with six wins out of six points to how this side is moving on.
- Henderson’s been a great captain in his absence, would Liverpool really want to change this?
- Henderson’s form when Gerrard is playing is patchy to say the least, it’s like Henderson’s work load is doubled and therefore he struggles to play his natural game.
- There should be no room for sentiments in football!
Carragher Says Doesn’t Think He Will Start
Jamie Carragher stated on Monday Night Football (audio thanks to audioboom) that he doesn’t believe Steven Gerrard will start against Manchester United, citing the good form of Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson. You find it hard to disagree with the Liverpool legend as the Reds have been on a magnificent run to find them only four points off of 2nd placed Manchester City after being seventeen points behind them at the midway point.
Brendan Rodgers has decisions to make, will he or won’t he? Looking at the pros and cons you’d have to say that a place on the bench and a cameo appearance may be the best way for possibly Liverpool’s greatest ever player.