22 Mar 2015

Hothead: Gary Linker reacts to 'extraordinary' Gerrard red-card incident and insists that it's a 'big surprise'

It's a fair cop - Steven Gerrard deserved to be sent off for his deliberate stamp on Man Utd midfielder Ander Hererra, and despite his gracious apology after the game, fans and pundits alike are laying into the Liverpool captain, including Gary Lineker, Lee Dixon, and Robbie Earle, who've criticised the midfielder for his 'retaliatory' action.

After the game, Lineker - hosting live coverage for NBC* - noted:

"It's one of the most extraordinary 40 seconds I've ever seen.

"It's a big surprise for someone like Gerrard to lose his head in that manner".


Dixon scathed:

"It was reckless. A lot of frustration in there, and he knew. He knows what he's done. There's no excuse for that. It was retaliation. His aggression got the better of him"

Earle added:

"He [Gerrard] lost control of himself. He got over emotional. Pent up frustration at not playing. He wants to play in those big games, but he let himself down".

Gerrard's post-match apology:

"I need to accept it. The decision was right. I've let down my team-mates and the supporters. I've been in the game long enough [ to know what happens] when you do something like that. I take full responsibility."

Rodgers' reaction to the incident:

"It is big of someone when they do get sent off to come out and apologise. He was probably frustrated watching us, in the first half we didn't make a tackle. He was man enough to come out and apologise"

A few points:

* There's no defending Gerrard's stamp. He deserved the red card, but Liverpool didn't lose the game because of it. The game was lost in the first half.

* Gerrard's apology is admirable, but he had no choice but to publicly apologise. In my view, it's not really 'big' of someone to do something that circumstances dictate as a logical necessity. Gerrard had an obligation to apologise, and he did.

* I'm just thankful it wasn't Mario Balotelli. Imagine the hypocritical media meltdown if the Italian got red-carded for stamping on an opposition player (!)

Lineker claims it's a 'big surprise' to see Gerrard lose his head, but that's only true if you've been living in a cave for the last fifteen years. Liverpool's captain is the most red-carded player in LFC history, and including today, he's received his marching orders seven times:

* Everton: September 1999
* Leeds United: April 2001
* Aston Villa: September 2001
* Chelsea: May 2003
* Everton: March 2006
* Manchester United: January 2011

Gerrard's closest challengers are Javier Mascherano, Jamie Carragher, Ian St. John, Igor Biscan and Dietmar Hamann, each with three reds each.

It's interesting to note that tough defenders like Tommy Smith, Ron Yeats and Neil Ruddock only managed a single read card each during their Liverpool careers (!).

As a comparison, only only 2 players have more red cards during the Premier league era than Gerrard: Patrick Vieira and Duncan Ferguson (both with 8). Gerrard is now tied with Roy Keane, Alan Smith and Vinnie Jones on seven.

As Rodgers said in his post-match press conference:

"I won’t criticise him. He’s been brilliant in my time here, and sometimes these things happen. It doesn’t happen very often to our team, but it did today and it’s one we’ll move on from.”

Exactly. For me, the incident is already forgotten. Gerrard deserves criticism, and he will get it, but he's apologised, and despite his red-card history, he's not a dirty player or a disciplinary case.

This incident won't damage Gerrard's amazing legacy in any way, and I'm sure he'll still have a big part to play in helping Liverpool qualify for the Champions League this season.

Yes, despite the doom and gloom, it's still eminently possible, and I full expect the Reds to be fighting till the last minute of the last game to make it happen.

* Watched live and transcribed (Comments for Lineker, Earle, and Dixon)

Author:



59 comments:

  1. Too late for an apology now. Damage already done....he won't even be here when we are not in next seasons champions league anyway. The smirk on his face during the interview said it all for me. He is fast losing his 'iconic' tag. Very fast!!!!!!

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  2. "The game was lost in the first half"?? Pretty sure that's not how football works, but the comments are expected here.

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  3. The game was not lost in the first half. we were only 1-0 down and it should have been 1-1. I've even heard of a match where a team was been three down at half time but come back to win it, albeit on penalties.;-)

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  4. "The game was lost in the first half" Football is a game of two halves. Nobody knows what would've happen if Gerrard wasn't sent off. He was effective against Swansea after a bad half for Liverpool and helped change that game.

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  5. So he made a mistake BUT he has been MAGNIFICENT for 16 years and he might yet have the last say - never ever write him off.I blame Raheem Sterling and his big mouth agent for dampening the whole week - sell the ungrateful overated never willbe -A S A P and that goes for Henderson too - NEXT TO STEVIE G - They are NOTHING

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  6. The players let themselves down. How they couldn't raise their game especially of this magnitude baffles me. Sterling was a disgrace !!! He should not be allowed anywhere near the team until he resolves his contract issue with the club.

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  7. Can't agree that the game was lost in the first half - it was only 1-0 after all but nobody could've accounted for what happened with stevie including stevie himself and I'm sure nobody will criticise him more than he's criticising himself right now. That was his last ever action in one of these games and he'll be absolutely gutted he's gone out like that having been so influential against United over the years.

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  8. You've got 45 mins Steven, to put your stamp on the game".
    "I can do that in 45 secs boss".

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  9. Brendan Rodgers: “It was a game where the first half cost us".

    Even the manager thinks the game was lost in the first half.

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  10. Yep often we play better SH and turn things around after a HT tactics talk from Bren . Stevie was sent on to change things and screwed up .... end of !

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  11. But let's not agree with the manager when it suits us. We were utter shite until the last 10 minutes of the half. That's when we started to look like turning it around. As soon as Gerrard came on, you immediately could see that the midfield had a lot more authority. Getting a couple of goals back was highly possible, but he f***ed it up for us. Just like last season.

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  12. I think Rodgers plan to phase Gerrard out of the team cost us the game today , lalana should have been taken out for Gerrard , we were muck against Swansea until Rodgers made that change at half time I don't know what he expected to be different today, and united played the exact tactics that won them the game against spurs them long balls to fellani down the left channel something should have been done to stop that

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  13. I'm not disputing we were awful in the first half and it undoubtedly cost us, I was just saying that at 1-0 down, a football match is never over

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  14. But that is not what he said. He sad it cost us, not that it was lost. Those two ate different. Obviously. There was forty five minutes to overcome one goal. Very doable with 11 men.

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  15. The game was lost with SG's sent off. I have hardly seen a worse first half at home from the Reds, but playing lot, lot better than visitors, I have seen us going to break 0-1 down. Summary is, after all that horrible 45 minutes, we were just 1 down & full half to come back against a visiting side. Even a man down, we probably were better side in 2nd half; playing 11 men could have won, at least would have drawn the game.


    One thing I am sure now that BR isn't tactically remotely close to the 4 Managers above him. He is been out planned, out smarted countless time by his counterparts - it was Suarez (MoM today at Clasico, was just unstoppable in 2nd half, would have got a hat-trick in 2nd half alone barring selfishness from Neymar & Messi) that won him some big head to heads but tactically he is no where.


    Who was today's MoM - mine is probably Sakho.

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  16. Still think we can qualify for CL, Man U have to play Villa,Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Man City, five potential slip ups not including Crystal Palace and Hull. Stevie will get his redemption for today's incident by helping us in our run in for 4th/3rd spot.

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  17. Brian Antoniotti12:31 am, March 23, 2015

    gerrar already on santa monica beach..
    wont be here next yearso he doesnt really care any more.. 200 grand a week and he does that and pretty much costs us our place in champs league... that was more than a 6 pointer.... hit the road to la stevie... at least he'll miss 3 games now..... what a selfish litttle baby.

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  18. And yet, to the credit of the boys, we still made a game of it in the second half and were fighting right to the end of the match. We played better with 10 men than we did with 11.

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  19. In hindsight though, the match was lost in the first half. The fact that Lallana missed that opportunity only highlights that fact. Yes we could have gone into the break at 1-1, frankly we were lucky to go into the break 1-0 down.

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  20. Glad you made the point about Balotelli, so true he would have been skinned alive. I think we should cut our losses with Allen, who is good but will never make us great. We have no midfielder who is imposing. Felleini treated Allen like a ragdoll we really need an imposing athlete Kondogbia, Song, Schneiderlin, Wanyama etc Lucas could have done a job today.

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  21. Seriously? It has nothing to do with Rodgers' plan to phase Gerrard out of the team. Gerrard had been injured, we were playing well when he was injured, so why change a winning formula? And Lallana was good until he got injured by Phil Jones, who I might add should have been sent off too, he should have already been on a yellow when he fouled Henderson in the second half, which in my opinion should have been a straight red.

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  22. Lallana for me has not done enough in terms of creativity. Not enough goals or assists, fancy footwork is aesthetically pleasing to the eye but I prefer end product.

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  23. Really? Yes we didn't turn up in the first half, but for Rodgers to change our formation in the second half and for us to nearly get something out of the game despite going down to 10 men, that shows that Rodgers is tactically very good. It's funny how we go on a run of wins and everyone is applauding Rodgers and as soon as we lose a game, all the boo boys come back out.

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  24. On this site I have learnt probably to keep my opinions to myself and read the articles without comment. It is easier to accord with jk even if you don't agree.
    Exceptions though do occur and this is one of them
    We played Utd today we were not great in the first half, we were outplayed. The score was 1-0 at half time at this point we had not lost the game. Gerrard today did in all probability cost us at least a point, with 11 on the field the outcome may have been different.
    The best player the club has had ............... Not for me he would struggle to make my top ten

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  25. No top 4 for us this season, sorry. Chelsea, Arsenal, City, United in that order will occupy those spots. We'll be involved in the dubious Europa League. I'd prefer we finish 7th rather than 5th or 6th so we could avoid it. May still slump to 7th so there's still hope of evading the Europa League.

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  26. Joe must be happy his team won today.

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  27. Keep in mind we are losing Gerrard. We'll have a spot in the squad that could be taken up by a midfielder you describe (Carvalho or Casemiro or Nainggolan also options?). I'm not really a fan of Allen myself, but considering he's like 5th choice next season with Can back in the midfield, I think you'll be hard pressed to find a CM of his quality willing to sit the bench for large periods of time.

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  28. It's utter nonsense to say the game was lost in the first half. There was still a half to play with a 1-0 halftime score. I suppose the game to CP last season was won in the first half...but it wasn't was it? Final score 3-3. Season lost because we didn't play a good second half. We lost because we were playing 10 V 11 for the entire second half and Gerrard is the reason. This is the truth.

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  29. No he said it cost them. 1-0 is nothing with 45 munutes to play.

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  30. This was exactly the point I was going to pick up on. Football isn't won on stats and possession, it's won on goals. However abysmal we were in the 1st half, whatever the stats may say, the match was far from lost. With 11 on the pitch, the control that Gerrard *could have* provided - exactly as at Swansea, I have little doubt we could have taken a point from the game, if not snatched all 3.

    The 10 in the 2nd half drew that 45 minutes 1-1.

    If football was won on stats we would have won 3-7 at Old Trafford.

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  31. I am a Brendan fan, not flag waving and cheering mind, just content and happy to see where he takes us.

    But his use of Sterling doesn't fill me with confidence as to his tactical nous. Starting him at RWB (essentially to squeeze all 3 of Lallana, Coutinho and Sturridge in) is a poor use of an attacking player who frightens defenders and is one of the best at getting behind and turning defences. He evntually fixed it, moved him forward, and we started to look dangerous and threatening...only for Brendan then to move him to LWB!!!



    I don't begrudge Mario coming on, he has looked useful - if not fully composed - in his recent sub appearances, but not at the expense of a genuine threat being lessened.

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  32. Yeah, like that game 10 years ago that was all over in the 1st half...

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  33. Has Sterling made a press statement this week? Would love a link to it.



    Everything I've read and heard has come from Brendan. None of which, quite frankly, needed to be said in public.


    I'm renegotiating my contract with my employers - I've been there 9 years, a lot longer than Raheem has at LFC - and I'm looking for the best deal I can get. But I don't expect my director to tell the team I manage (or anyone else) the ins and outs of my contract status or where we're at in discussions.


    Raheem may be playing silly buggers, but you're naive if you think Brendan's statement wasn't made to exert pressure on Raheem and his agent.

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  34. Last season he slipped. It was an error, yes. But he slipped. It happens. To everyone. He didn't decide to do it, it was an accident.



    Today was different. It was a poor, poor decision from someone who should know much, much better.

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  35. And how many CL's have we been a part of (and stayed in) due to his sheer will and passion?


    I consider myself fortunate to be old enough to have witnessed the start of KK's career with LFC. And even more fortunate to having experienced the whole of SG's career with the club.


    Perspective please. A bad error of judgement, but in relation to the last 16 years - even if it means a hiccup for next season - entirely forgettable in the bigger scale of things.

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  36. Gerrard needed to apologise but I thought Rodgers should have said sorry for walking straight into the hands of LVG with his predictable line up and formation. The systems major flaw was found out a few games ago, it was fairly obvious an astute manager with quality players was going to exploit it. Rodgers should have known United would have had the perfect game plan and all week to work on it so why didn't he pull a few surprises? You can't wait until half time in every game to make the tactical changes, not against the good teams. We got away with it last week by a fluke goal, this week we got found out, or more importantly Rodgers was found out for being too predictable. With Sterling's mind elsewhere, Sturridge out of sorts, Gerrard fit again, Markovic well rested, Balotelli with a point to prove and many other variables, Rodgers had the squad to mix it up and surprise United. But he walked straight into LVG's hands with his ego above his head determined not to change personnel or a formation that has been creaking for the last few weeks.

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  37. His lapse of concentration in a vulnerable position on the field led to his slip.

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  38. Like Moreno's 2 horrendous lapses in concentration left Mata in acres, Mignolet's saw Mata's first go under his hand, Lallana's saw a simple tap-in go wide, de Gea's let in a near post shot, Can's let Blind get past him, Rooney's saw a penalty saved... And I'm talking about errors/lapses purely from memory from just the one game. There'a a lapse nearly every minute of every match. Could as easily go back through the entire of last season and pick many, many lapses that cost us points defensively, or failed to win us points. Gerrard's is highlighted simply because it was so late in the season last year.

    Today's was an intentional act, performed exactly as he intended it, hence different to a lapse/error.

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  39. Sterling being placed at RWB should have worked out for us, it was down to Man Utd's tactics that it didn't, when they didn't have possession, they crammed midfield. Rodgers changed this at half time, 3-5-2 has worked for us all year and because it didn't work in one game, we should scrap it or it's not good enough? I don't buy that.

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  40. I'm sorry, but Kondogbia? He has one good game against Arsenal and suddenly he's the answer to all problems? I don't agree Song is the answer either.

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  41. BR is to blame ,as I said before the game Gerrard MUST start .
    It was to BIG a game with to much riding on it .
    I also said that Allen would be NO match for Fellaini.

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  42. Once again BR is to blame for playing inti MU hands!
    Allen at 5ft nothing against Fellaini ,only 1 winner .

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  43. I get that Stevie May have been angered by not starting. I also get he felt he needed to perhaps inject a little physicality since we were being physically handled all over the pitch. But for a seasoned veteran and captain, his display of losing control of his emotions was selfish, immature and pointless when what we needed was ball movement and possession control. Storied history for sure but this just shows he is not handling his swan song very well and has emotionally already divorced the team. After the first twenty seconds I thought he would really be a difference making since the ball movement seemed instantly better. I guessed wrong.....it was a selfish, mindless, disgrace.

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  44. Sterling was played completely out of position for most of the game.....bad strategy and game plan for me.....

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  45. I wouldn't call it 3-5-2, we've not played with 2 strikers, 3-4-2-1 or 3-4-3 (if you consider the 2 behind the striker as genuine 'forwards'). But pedantics aside, we're talking about the same system and I wouldn't call for it to be changed. But Sterling needs to be in a position to break on the shoulder of the defender and be there for an out ball or one over the top to him to run at their defence with. That breakaway is where he's most dangerous and Lallana just doesn't have the pace to offer. Even Coutinho doesn't have the blistering pace. He can't do that from wing back, he's tasked with tracking runs from Young and overlaps from Blind. If he's not going to hold to those responsibilities then there's no point playing him there.

    My preference was to start him as the focal point of the attack with Lallana and Coutinho behind (with Sturridge on the bench as I posted in another thread). The reason being is that he's diligent in his defensive duties and would have closed the manyoo back line (and Carrick) down a lot better. We *might not* have been quite so over run first half.

    But, ultimately, they always had a ball over the top to Fellaini and none of our midfield or defence seemed to cope with that.

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  46. Allen was no great shakes today either. His slow tracking back on Mata's first goal forced Sakho to stay in the middle more and therefore not available to provide cover when Moreno fell asleep on Mata. I also find Lallana a bit of a lightweight who runs about but doesn't Impact games very much....great quick feet but so far not an impactful contributor often enough....especially for the cost!

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  47. Agree totally about Lallana. When Sturridge is on form Lallana will be struggling to make the bench. Unfortunately, at the moment - even with the layoff (that Lallana fluffed) and the great finish - Sturridge seems to be ambling around the pitch and not doing much when not on the ball. Lallana will provide the workrate if not the ultimate quality. [Heartbreaking to see Suarez a couple of hours laters chasing defenders and closing down at full pace when not in possession, as if he was chasing a through ball with only the keeper to beat, when Sturridge is putting in halfhearted efforts and Mario comes on and can't even be bothered to bring himself back onside for a through ball.]



    Allen was disappointing too. But, then, it's only been about 4 or 5 games when he looked like he might make the grade. Lucas when fully fit will suffice, but an athletic ball playing holding midfielder must be high on the agenda. Schneiderlin/Bender/Carvalho is probably upper limit of afforability/realistic. As many questions as there are about his fitness, would like Khedira, think he'd be (relatively) cheap.

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  48. To qualify: think Lallana is getting starts to provide the workrate and because Ibe isn't fit. When Ibe fit he goes RWB and Sterling moves alongside Coutinho. (Markovic looks like an even lighterweight version of Lallana.)

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  49. Yes, It was highlighted because it was late in the season; and for good reason. Of course, there are always lapses, but players need to control it better in matches when the stakes are really high, particularly when it's the most important match of the year. In big games, players need clutch performances.

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  50. And please, Moreno's defensive errors pale in comparison to the severity of the implications left by Gerrard's red card. Being a goal down doesn't badly handicap you.

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  51. Jaimie , If Liverpool makes CL after this poor showing at Anfield I will eat my hat !!!

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  52. If you've understood what I've said, we're not debating the red card here.The red card was an intentional act, stupidity. Morenos error*S* - he went missing for both goals - are the equivalent of the slip.

    But interesting you think one goal doesn't badly handicap you...

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  53. Gerrard's slip cost us a goal. In the 45th minute. Of the 3rd last game of the season. As you say, one goal doesn't seriously handicap you...

    We lost the league by 2 points. We were 3-0 up against Palace IN THE 2ND LAST GAME OF THE SEASON and drew 3-3. 2 points dropped 2nd last game of the season. But points dropped in the 3rd last game were the crucial ones?

    Gerrard's mistake lost us the league? Because it was Chelsea??? You get 3 points whether you beat Chelsea, West Brom, or Stoke!

    There's restricted view, binoculared view, telescopic view, and just plain eyes closed.

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  54. he has made LFC in losing the title when he slipped against Chelsea and we may lose 4th place because of his selfish act. The sooner he leaves much the better. He is a danger to the club. Apologies are when u don't know what u did was wrong.

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  55. u speak nonsense. how can we can lose with score 1-0. We had another 45 mins.

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  56. you speak rubbish 10 and 11 players make a lot of difference.

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  57. wrong because of his slip we lost title last season and now he make us lose 4th place. He is only best at penalty kicks.

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  58. of course he will say that to cover up Gerrards selfish act.

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  59. this season and last season he having too many slips!

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