This season is set up for Gerrard to really confirm his spot as one of the top players in world football today. He has been absolutely electrifying form thus far pre-season with his pace, power and finishing ability all looking to have improved even further since last season. IMHO he'll be a shoe-in for the team of the year and a great bet for player of the season (barring injury)
There's a lot of bullsh1t bandied about in relation to Gerrard (like last season when he allegedly had an awful season. He had more man of the match games than any other player at the club and had a fine season but perhaps the expectation levels are so high for the lad that he needs to score hat-tricks every week to justify the hype) so I'd like to use this thread as a spot to chart his season, game by game.
Gerrard was in the thick of it on saturday..a one-man assault on the boro goal but unfortunately he didn't have his finishing boots on and we left with just a point. If one of his earlier chances had gone in we'd have given them a right beating. They played like a non-league side who were delighted to get a draw, at home. I'm sure a lot of the home fans were wondering exactly what was going on. Sure Ugo's ending off changed their game slightly but they were ultra-defensive all day and we haunted not to have Parlour sent off too.
I was impressed with Sissoko (although he should've started alongside Xabi leaving Gerrard to do the attacking early on - not the other way around). Huge guy, very-vieira like in his running style and tackling. Lacks the nous on the ball that vieira now has but showed that he is a ferocious competitor who will run & fight for the full 90. A midfield of Alonso, Gerrard & Sissoko can be both robust and sublime.
Here's Miles Palmer's view on the game (and liverpool's season) - www.anr.co.uk - this site is a great read
IN MIDDLESBROUGH, Benitez played 4-5-1 and all the chances fell to Steven Gerrard, who missed them all in a 0-0.
Benitez uses Stevie G the way I would use him for England, as a free-roaming warrior who would supply Rooney and Defoe and join them in every attack.
He is a power player who should win it and give it and speed forward and make things happen.
In other words, do what he did in Istanbul to turn AC Milan upside down.
Stevie G is a very powerful running machine and a great shooting machine, a big guy with a big stride and a fierce shot in his big boots.
He is pro-active, NOT strategic. His value lies in getting the ball and hitting vulnerable areas.
BENITEZ is making Liverpool like Valencia : shapely, solid, workmanlike, hard to beat.
He has Hamann, Xabi Alonso and Sissoko in midfield, plus Riise.
Alonso is a strategic playmaker who is much classier than Albelda or Baraja, the pair he had at Valencia.
Sissoko is a gutsy competitor who does all the ugly things energetically and honestly.
Benitez is a realist who accepts that Liverpool will have a lot of games where they have to scrap and grind out a result, so he has equipped himself accordingly.
Their style is not an attractive as Arsenal's, but it will accumulate results
GOALKEEPER Reina looked solid and got good distance on his punches.
Like Valencia, Liverpool will not score many goals.
I like this quote though easily known which Stevie they are NOT talking about
"Stevie G is a very powerful running machine and a great shooting machine, a big guy with a big stride and a fierce shot in his big boots".