27 Sep 2014

'I was screaming': BR insists Gerrard made a mistake with £16m star during Everton draw

Last season, Steven Gerrard often relinquished to Luis Suarez the responsibility for free kicks in-and-around the penalty area, and the Uruguayan often delivered the goods. Mario Balotelli doesn't offer the same quality, and LFC boss Brendan Rodgers has gently admonished his captain for allowing the Italian to take free kicks against Everton.

In his post-match press conference, Rodgers hailed 'selfless' Gerrard's 'outstanding' performance', and 'wonderful' free-kick goal, but told reporters:

"He [Gerrard] was letting Mario take a few [free-kicks] in the first half and I was screaming at him to take it, because he's got so much quality. He's shown many a time over the years that's his range"

Gerrard's strike-rate on free kicks is pretty impressive, so unless there's another bona-fide specialist in the team (i.e. Suarez), he should take all free kicks within scoring distance.

When a game is in the balance, ego or selflessness shouldn't come in it; the best player for the job should take responsibility, and in this case, Gerrard is clearly the best free-kick taker in the squad.

On a related note: scoring from free kicks/penalties is seemingly the only way Gerrard can consistently effect games these days. Indeed, his last 16 goals have all been free-kicks or penalties, so if LFC want Gerrard to maintain his relevance to the team, then it's best to let him take the free-kicks (!)

Overall, Gerrard scored a great goal, but to describe his performance as 'outstanding' is (arguably) a massive overstatement. That's Rodgers for you, though: the king of overstatement.

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29 comments:

  1. I thought we actually played pretty well today. Our final ball and finishing were lacking but I thought we had last season's urgency and intensity back.
    Sturridge will make a huge difference on his return

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  2. Our players look out of sync in the final third. The passer and the runner seem to each see something different. Overall we looked better though. Still wanting players back and some to settle, nothing we could do about a wonder strike, disappointed we didn't have a player running to close it down after the header out.

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  3. Since he was voted man of the match, I don't see any problem with BR's comment. We all know he uptalks players but Gerrard played as well as anyone bar maybe Sterling

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  4. thexcuriousxwanderer2:40 am, September 28, 2014

    I guess Gerard was thinking for the team in the sense that if Mario scores and gets a lift from that (in terms of confidence) it will be better for the team long run, though not in the immediate 90 mins. Who can say which is better? A footballer without confidence is often a different animal.

    Still the back four were more consistent in their spacing today, I hardly noticed too much space between them until they started throwing 11 men behind the ball, and crowded out themselves. A bit more encouraging, and Lallana working his socks off. Balotelli should take a leaf off his page. Many times he was standing in the penalty box and not making runs. If he continues like this, he shouldn't be playing, 16 mil or not. Is Borini really that bad ... or they really have plans to sell him this summer ...

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  5. We played ok in parts still failed to score enough goals i wonder whats going on down there Sakho is obviously unhappy leaving the ground when he did.

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  6. Who might be the King of understatement then?:-)

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  7. Personally I think Lallana was our best player yesterday. I actually think the whole thing around Gerrard is becoming a bit of a joke. We played better than we have been in the derby (not hard as we've generally been pretty awful so far).

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  8. If BR wants SG to take the freekicks he should make that clear before they get on the pitch.

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  9. I see he has since apologised. Seems fair enough to me. He was upset as I'd expect him to be but man enough to apologise. End of.

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  10. I like Sakho Stuart not sure why he didnt even get a spot on the bench a bit rough me thinks.

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  11. my friend , a long time red believes that rodgers is a blagger and that we only had that one good season due to Luis. i was sure we'd do well this season, although the signs are ominous.
    if we get knocked out of the group stage and fail to get 4th, will rodgers keep his job?

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  12. Lallana is getting better everytime he plays. Our two new fullbacks are excellent. Manquillo's first time delivery into the box is consistently excellent. He's solid, works his socks off and at his age he's only gonna get better. Moreno is exciting and explosive and is also very young.
    Gerrard looked good yesterday because the midfield and defence didn't leave him all alone in acres of space against a nippy attacker. We were compact and there was always an extra man ready to assist. That is what we saw last season. We just lack a cutting edge up front. Enter Daniel Sturridge.
    Sturridge will know that this is finally his chance to silence all his doubters and critics that said he's was only that good last season because he had Suarez beside him. This is his chance to show that HE is the main striker at a top club and he must be champing at the bit to get back.
    I think Mario will improve with Sturridge back as well

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  13. IMO Sakho is the worst LFC defender since Jimmy Traore, and storming off like a spoilt brat demonstrates that he is not a team player, not for my team, anyway. So bye bye Sakho, you won't be missed

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  14. yes I agree, could well have been our best performance of the season, although I thought Mario looked isolated again, but he worked much harder than in previous games and he's getting there, it will just take a bit of time, like with most of the new players

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  15. Well you keep your opinion what him storming out really means is that he is hurt =cares a lot unlike my idea of your opinion

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  16. Yet it's still not done to doubt Balotelli? Balotelli is apparently one of the best strikers on the planet. Yet we cannot rely on him to score goals when Sturridge is out? At the start of last season Sturridge was also out and our other striker stood up and scored a hatful. Balotelli, to me, is as bad a transfer as Andy Carrol.

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  17. Voted Man of the Match by his pal, Michael Owen. The real MOTM was either John Stones or Adam Lallana.

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  18. Also JK, two points:
    To criticise the deepest lying of our midfield players for only scoring via free-kicks and pens is harsh. He shouldn't be pitching in with many goals. Our full-backs tend to be further up the pitch than Gerrard. Also he got the most assists in the league last season, so he can still contribute offensively in that position. We're only a few games into the season and he's had to play every game due to injury in a team that isn't flowing properly yet.


    Secondly, I think Balotelli is the best free-kick taker in our squad, specifically from shooting positions. Gerrard's delivery from deeper or wider set-pieces is still valuable, but you've only to look at Mario's set-pieces for Milan last season to see he can be lethal.

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  19. oooooooooo ha, ha, ha

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  20. that's a bit harsh. Although I do wonder why we signed Lambert, as he is similar to Andy Carrol, and apparently Carrol wasn't Buck's type of player. We all knew that Suarez was going to leave and he gave plenty of time to find a replacement, so, signing Mario can't surely have been a similar act of desperation that lead to us signing Caroll. Can it?

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  21. Suso can't be forgotten, he our best left footed free kicker so if he ever gets played then he should take all the ones on the right side of the pitch while Gerrard and Mario can share the left side.

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  22. If gerrard didnt score there, what would we be saying about him? Probably the worst critics as always. BR and everybody must understand and accept hes finished, even stevie himself. Let the youth jump in and show their talent. I seriously hope gerrard retires by the end of season.

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  23. Agrreed, Lalana worked his socks off. Thats all you can ask for

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  24. Agreed about Balotelli.

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  25. It looks like it was though. Balotelli, apart from not being as good, is a very different player to Suarez. With Suarez teams were afraid to press against us because they'd know Suarez would use the space behind the defense and score a hat full. With Balotelli being as lazy as he is we are under more pressure at the back because no one is worried he'll break away and score. On top of that, we're much less likely to score because it takes us more effort to get the ball near the goal. So I can only imagine Rodgers wanted a Suarez type player and ended up having to bring in a name. Much like the Sakho transfer last year.

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