10 Mar 2015

Shocker: Aldo claims 'outstanding' LFC star 'not worthy' of first-team place. Agree?

On Sunday, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers confirmed that 'outstanding' Steven Gerrard will be 'be back training' this week, and predicted that he'd be 'available' for Liverpool's next game against Swansea, but will does skipper deserve to go straight back into the starting line-up?

Discussing Gerrard's return in his Sunday World column, Reds legend John Aldridge made the following surprising claim:

"Gerrard is close to a return to full fitness [and] he will want to play as many games as possible [but] the truth is [he] is not worthy of a place in Rodgers Liverpool team right now".

Given the rampant Scouse solidarity that usually underpins Aldo's views on Liverpool, this is a surprising - and rather withering - statement. It seems blasphemous to describe Gerrard as 'not worthy' of a place in the team, but to be fair, there is a kernel of truth to that contention, and Aldo deserves credit for putting objectivity ahead of personal bias.

Liverpool can survive without Gerrard, and that's a huge positive, but I reject the notion that he is 'not worthy' of a place in the team. A few points:

* Aldo describes Liverpool as 'high-flying', but the turgid performance against Blackburn is a warning sign, and it shows that there are still improvements to be made.

* Results in the league are excellent this year, but nothing is achieved yet, and Rodgers will need the whole squad - including Gerrard - to secure a coveted top-four spot.

* I can't conceive of a world where Lazar Markovic is deemed to be more worthy of a place in the team than Gerrard (!) LFC's captain is 100 times the player, and if someone needs to make way to accommodate him, it should be Markovic. Unfortunately, Gerrard at right/left wing-back is non-starter, so that isn't going to happen.

* With Allen and Hendo sure to retain their positions in midfield, Gerrard will have to slot in alongside Coutinho, and I'd have him ahead of Lallana every day of the week.

* Lallana had another disappointing and ineffective game against Blackburn, and even in his 30s, Gerrard remains (IMO) a superior player, especially with the quality he brings to set-pieces.

As such, I'd like to see the following team for the Swansea game:

------------------ Mignolet

------ Can ------- Skrtel ------- Sakho

--- Sterling -- Hendo - Allen --- Moreno

----------- Coutinho --- Gerrard

---------------- Sturridge

With currently available personnel, I genuinely believe that this is Liverpool's strongest team. If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work, the solution is simple: sub Gerrard off in the second-half, and push Sterling up alongside Coutinho.

Gerrard should not be an automatic starter for Liverpool, but even with his flaws, he's still (arguably) a better option for the team than Markovic or Lallana.

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109 comments:

  1. Sterling would be wasted at wing back again. The future of this club is a front three of Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho.

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  2. I think that whilst Gerrard remains a superior individual player compared to Lallana, he doesn't suit Rodgers pressing style as well. Lallana won the ball in the opposition's half more than any other player last season. I think that is why he would be preferred.

    With a fully fit team I don't think it is a Gerrard/Lallana toss-up anyway- I think Sterling and Coutinho will be the regulars behind Sturridge now that he is getting up to speed.

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  3. Off topic, apparently Mandzukic and Simeone have fallen out and Mandzukic will be moved on in the summer. I think he'd be an ideal replacement for Balotelli. He's an all action forward with an eye for goal, he's got true European experience and pedigree, still in his prime, won't cost the earth and would probably welcome the move. Makes sense to me.
    The boy Casemiro at Porto looks a player too

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  4. Yes his talents are not best suited to wing back but he would always put in a better performance than Markovic and can play both sides. This means you can accommodate Gerrard and use Lallana from the bench (he has been not god enough this year imo).


    Moving forward the front three will be as you said, complemented by Lallana, Ibe and whoever else may be purchased in the summer.

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  5. See below from VermHat. Without effective high pressing Liverpool are just not as good a team. Gerrard brings other qualities and his general control of play, go forward, vision and set piece skills are all brilliant. But if he can't press effectively then Liverpool will see less of the ball and there will be more defending to do. The midfield will generally have to work harder and Gerrard himself will have to come deeper to do the only defensive work he's capable of which is positional tracking. None of this is part of what has made Liverpool such an effective team in recent months. Underestimating the importance of the gritty hard work is to completely misunderstand the strengths of a Rodgers team.

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  6. Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho, or maybe Ibe when he comes back fit.
    All capable of playing with their brains as well as their feet!
    If i had to i would put Gerrard in for Allen, i know Allen is playing well but i would rather see Rodgers stuck with Lallana.
    Much like Coutinho was in his early years Lallana lacks the necessary concentration levels required to play in his role, you need to be switched on and alert, constantly! Given the ideal scenario i would play Ibe instead of either Gerrard or Lallana.
    If my memory serves me right it was Ibe over Sterling as the real star for the future!
    Both with 10 great years ahead, if we don't mess it up whilst offering incentive based contracts all the while agents whispering what so and so will pay you, we do not need to be known as both pioneers and innovative when it comes down to wages! We should follow suit when everyone else has messed up and lost top players, not the place to be known as Frugal!
    This is the American shareholder coming out in Werner and Henry.
    Long winded way of saying if we don't lose them anytime soon Ibe, Sterling and Sturridge for the front 3.
    Y.N.W.A!

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  7. A Gerrard/Lallana toss-up? Is that allowed?

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  8. I think this also highlights the issue with RWB.
    Manquillo is too defensive and so is Flanagan when fit.
    Markovic and Ibe are better suited further forward (Markovic is looking poor, may need a new lease of life)
    Johnson is probably the most suited but most fans (not me) think he's awful and have made it well known so he won't be staying, why would he!
    Sterling, well this just shows how desperate we are now in this position, must be further forward.

    In an ideal world we need 2 new RWBs and another LWB, but this isn't going to happen. I think the sugning of Danilo (or similar) is becoming more of a priority. Enrique can possibly do a LWB backup job but seems more interested in posting pictures of him and the missus every 10 minutes of his life. Long shot, but hopefully McLaughlin and Brad Smith can step up as backups, they were very cavalier type full backs.

    What's everyone else thoughts on RWB and LWB?

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  9. Not so sure about that Jaimie. Pressing is absolutely key to our game. Gerrard, as everyone knows, doesn't have half the legs he used to, so I can't see him being able to effectively press as well as younger, fitter players like Lallana.

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  10. I can't catch two at once, so if I had to choose, it'd be Gerrard because his body is more frail.

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  11. Stickhwiththeprogramme8:04 am, March 11, 2015

    That line up is very spot on Jaimie.

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  12. Better than a toss off

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  13. It's not all about the legs. Gerrard has the football intelligence to be the one that takes the ball away and press better than many young players. But it can only work for 60 minutes or so, and the whole team must know all movement and pressing depends on Gerrard's movement. The first part didn't work for Steven, the latter for Brendan, That is why BR invented the deep lying position- gives the team space to press and to become less dependable on Gerrard. Steven still influenced the game with Hollywood passes, but you can't get them all right and it's much harder without Daniel and Suarez cutting in, and on the other hand his mistakes back there highlighted his aging legs. That allowed Brendan to tell Gerrard h is no longer an automatic starter this season, something he couldn't have said before.
    With smaller egos, we could've enjoyed Gerrard's magic for another year..

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  14. Gerrard deserves to be in the first team irrespective of form, he's a true legend and have earned the right. Compare him with Casillas at Real, in an ideal world Casillas wil never get near Madrid bench let alone being a starter..currently now Casi is the worst Gk in Spain, he had another stinker last night

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  15. If Ibe was there, I'd say he is not worthy of a start... but must agree, after the blackburn game, we need the captain back...

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  16. You don't need two offensive full backs or wing backs. Look at Real, Arbeloa is involved in their attacks oncee per match. Juve playes(d) in our formation and Lichtsteiner is the one being up there much more often.. Flanno is good enough defensively(presuming he picks up where he stopped and young(fast) enough to learn how to attack every now and than. Moreno on the other flank is great going forward(understanding with Couts is amazing) but good(fast) enough to go back, plus you see he can improve. With Sakho(and Can) knowing how to to go forward, even dribble and pass long range from CB position, that is enough forward options. Sterling, Ibe, Lallana and Lazar give us additional options on that positions, so the only thing we need is Manquillo stepping up. Though all those players mentioned as back up are better playing more forward, specially Lazar.

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  17. I am not sure I agree, but you are right. That doesn't make much sense now, does it...

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  18. sorry but no player should get a place in the team just because of his status.

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  19. Maandzukic is one hell of a player..

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  20. Mr. Point Of View8:59 am, March 11, 2015

    If CAN can playing RCB why not gerrard at there? So he can give long ball from there and not wasted to much of his energy ! Let give more time hendo and CAN gel up at mid !

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  21. Just imagine Gerrard against Hazard there. Love Gerrard to much to want that to happen..

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  22. Mr. Point Of View9:04 am, March 11, 2015

    Of coz every tactic sure got good and bad ! On other hand we got 2 energetic mid rather than 14 alone

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  23. nevergonnastickwiththeprogramme!

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  24. I know, if we had made the right signing , nobody would care whether Gerrard is playing well or not... Just like Casi at Real. U gets the logic now

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  25. Stickhwiththeprogramme9:30 am, March 11, 2015

    None taken, mate. But you did forget that scouse h, tho.

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  26. Stickhwiththeprogramme9:31 am, March 11, 2015

    My gripe with Gerrard is he's holding (unwillingly as far as I can tell) back the team's and certain player's development. I just feel it's time to let go and use him where and when he's needed, not for the sake of it.

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  27. Both Lallana and Gerrard seem to slow the play down in the ten role. But Lallana has an energy that Gerrard simply can't match these days.

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  28. I just saw that.. I knew about Scouse accent but just didn't expect it in written.. This phrase was used by some of our managers or players?

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  29. Stickhwiththeprogramme10:11 am, March 11, 2015

    The extra H completely unintentional. Name just came from the back of me head when I registered for disqus.

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  30. All right.. But you are Scouse?

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  31. Definitely. Was a touch upset in the summer when we didn't seem to have a go for him at all.

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  32. There's always one ;-)

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  33. We need more than one trigger player in the team. It happens across the front so it will have to be the striker or Coutinho too, maybe even the wingbacks or midfield depending on their and others position. If Gerrard can't keep up with that then it is an issue.

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  34. I fully disagree. No one is bigger than the club and form has to be taken in to account.

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  35. I don't agree that Gerrard is more effective than Lallana. At least Lallana presses the ball and works tirelessly. Gerrard has looked sluggish more often than not when placed in that attacking position. Look back on the Capital One Cup semi's vs Chelsea, Gerrard was a huge disappointment. His only noteworthy contribution in the return leg was an overhead kick.
    The correct statement is that he should not be an automatic starter. We want to win FA Cup for him, but he should just sit back and let the others do the job.

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  36. I was thinking this myself. What about Gerrard where Can plays and Can as wingback? I haven't fancied Can in the centre too much.

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  37. Stickhwiththeprogramme11:09 am, March 11, 2015

    Noop, not even close. From Sweden.

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  38. i voted yes. worthy is a bit harsh word, but i think our midfield looks better, more dynamic, and our pressing is superior when Stevie is out of the team. Allen has legs for two Gerrards atm im affraid. we need players like him for high tempo high pressing game. atm i feel like Lallana-Hendo-Allen should be automatic starters, they way they harrass and unsettle opponents game. with Couts we have someone to play the final ball (lallana too).

    i think we have players who can do what Stevie does now, and big part of his game is gone now. too bad we cant have stevie of 5 years ago.

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  39. Im sorry but Lallana over Gerrard starting in that no 10 role.


    It should be Sterling Sturridge and Cou in those 3 positions. AND if the game is one where we require more running and tracking, eg against CIty, then DS can take his place on the bench and let Lallana run his heart out and track the opposition down.


    Gerrard SHOULD be a BENCH impact sub or a Cup player. He doesn't have the legs to keep our pressing game going for 10-20 minutes let alone 90...

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  40. I'm not trying to say he's bigger than club, but he deserves some respect from the manager .I'll give you another example, at chelski.. If u were to sub a striker, who would u chose between Remy and Drogba? The answer is obvious. But Mou prefer putting Drogba everyday of the week., he has a reason for that not footballing reason though

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  41. Seriously? Manzukic would suit us perfectly!

    Just the price will be a bit steep considering he just moved there for 22M. Do you think the transfer committee would sanction such a high amount WHILST we have Balo on our books?

    I think we will spend the summer trying to offload our flailing attack force and miss out on these gems.. and end up with INGS and hopefully Vietto.

    Casemiro is on loan from Real though? Who would you take - him or Illa?

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  42. Forget Danilo.. Real and United are in for him and lets be honest.. we don't beat Real in transfers.. even to 15 year olds..

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  43. That's what I can't understand. You seem to think it is not sensible to make decisions based on things other than football but also champion it in the case of Gerrard. Rodgers has been respectful to Gerrad to the point of deferential, we need to be looking forward.

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  44. so Sterling has to be played out of position to accommodate Gerrard? So much for your eternal plea of playing players in their best position...I agree whole-heartedly with Aldridge, in his (Gerrard) position, better players are playing...and since when does one draw remove a 13-games-without a loss team from the high-flyers club?

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  45. And he failed to inform the players about Gerrard leaving the club

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  46. Though I would play him vs chelski and manu..

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  47. Heenderson:

    “Next season we’ll see what happens because it might not be me succeeding Stevie, it might be someone else,” he told reporters.

    “There are a lot of strong leaders in the dressing room. There are a lot of big characters in the team – down to earth humble people.

    “Mama [Sakho], Emre [Can] and [Martin Skrtel] have developed a strong collective understanding. You can see their passion, they’re desperate to win, they give everything.

    “[Daniel Sturridge] is a big character. Lucas (Leiva) is too. I can only do the current job the best I can.”

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  48. Why didn't Gerrard as the revered captain tell his bloody team mates?
    I can't believe people are advocating the guy coming straight back into the team and Sterling playing at RWB. Ridiculous. How many games did Sturridge start on the bench after injury? And he is seen as integral!!

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  49. I voted no but I can see where he's coming from. We will have to make do without Gerrard from next season onwards and it may not be wise to change the team whilst it's gathering momentum. On the other hand I agree that we have to rotate and Gerrard is still a brilliant player. So I would play him if available too but he would no longer be the first name on the team sheet for me.

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  50. No way you can compare Gerrard and Sturridge.. I am not saying he is bigger than the club, but different, more favorable approach is needed even though Daniel is more important player now.. For instance for manu game and chelski game-he should be an automatic starter, and manager should have a plan how to make that work.

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  51. Antoine I finished a 24 hour shift not long ago and feel I am having trouble understanding what it is you are thinking. This reply seems to have nothing to do with the conversation we were having. Is it my tiredness?

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  52. You may have a point, I just prefer the team to have more balance. Manquillo and Flanagan are options if you want a more solid defensive unit in certain games maybe but I'd also like a specialist RWB but with attacking qualities to balance with Moreno

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  53. Maybe Clyne? although it means raiding Southampton again

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  54. I like Clyne, I think he is the second best RB in the league after Ivanovic and could be our RB/RWB for the next 5 years easily.

    Problem is he is English and will come at a massive premium. Are we really going to spend 20M on another defender?



    I rekon we could end up looking for a similar type of player and find them in Germany or Spain for half the price, like we did with Moreno.

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  55. Lichtsteiner would perfect, but he is essential there and they probably wouldn't sell him. He is a pr!ck too..

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  56. actually i've been getting sick of seeing him being greedy in tight areas and losing the ball. at least at wing back he has space in front of him and he can use his speed and stamina to good effect. players like coutinho and lallana are much better than him in the central, crowded areas and have much better passing qualities. not saying sterling should only play wing back but it could do him some good to have to work harder for the team and be more disciplined for the greater good of the team.

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  57. Why should Gerrard be an automatic starter?

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  58. Those games will much more than just a game, winning without him wouldn't feel as good..

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  59. Just saw him for the first time last night during Porto's demolition job they did on Basel and he made quite the impression.
    Yea I couldn't understand why we never moved for Mandzukic in the summer either. His style of play would suit both us and the premier league imo

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  60. I work with vulnerable adults. I slept in the evening but worked for about fourteen/ fifteen hours. Direct support is only part of my job but the part I like the most.

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  61. Don't really know what that mean- some kind of a social service?
    Couldn't you have helped nevergonna?

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  62. I got to watch some of the cracker that was the Sahalke Madrid game. A good night of footy all round it seems.

    Porto battering Basel made me a bit sad though. We are way off atm aren't we?

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  63. Something like that but it is a non profit charity organisation rather than government one.

    I can only help people who know they may need it.

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  64. At that moment we were, not now..

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  65. We still need a bit more I think.

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  66. 80% from Daniel will do the trick in my opinion..

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  67. If we do get CL instead of United it will be particularly satisfying as all the talk of us misspending in the summer will make their spending look far more ridiculous. Shaw, Mata, Harrera and Falcao have cost the club just over £100m and tend to be bench warmers. Add to that Di Maria not exactly being all that. It should be good for a chuckle.

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  68. Think both Sterling and Sturridge have been a little greedy in parts recently but to stick what is our best prospect at wing back doesn't make sense to me. I actually feel a little sorry for Markovic, he was bought as a winger and suddenly when he's not playing well at wing back he's getting criticised. Anybody that's played this system will know they are not the same position. At least wait til he's in his proper position before we have a go at him.

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  69. Didn't realise he was on loan. Tbh last night was the first time I've seen him play so can't really draw a fair comparison.
    If Atletico want rid of Mandzukic due to a breakdown in relations with the manager then they won't be in a position to play hardball with the price. 20 million should do it and to my mind with or without Balotelli that would be business worth doing imo

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  70. Champions league probably came a season too soon for us. Next season with 3-4 choice players added and I think we'll be ready.
    I watched the first half of the Madrid game before the missus came through and spoiled all the fun. Saw the highlights later, Real were an absolute shambles

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  71. Yea he is, huge cheat

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  72. I would start with Gerrard on the Bench, he will be more effective coming on later in the game when he can face tired legs as he hasn't got the pace to play the high pressing game that has got us some big results recently.

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  73. Mandzukic and Casemiro would be amazing signings. And you know my stance on Balotelli ;-)

    Casemiro is a Real Madrid player, though, so he they may decide to keep him. Then again, they've just signed Lucas Silva.

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  74. I didn't see any of the first half but caught some of the second. They were surprisingly bad in defence and midfield. No one seemed to be that @rsed.

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  75. By that logic, Gerrad will still deserve to be in the team irrespective of form in ten years' time.

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  76. He is reading this and plotting furiously tearful revenge.


    Shame, coz I thought he was a genuine bloke at times; not so much in the Shamsy guise.

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  77. A soldier ruled by missus, hehe..

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  78. I, for one, wouldn't grieve if somebody else was given the armband, and I suspect we might see a rotating captaincy for a bit next season.

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  79. Mandzukic and Casemiro would be amazing signings. And you know my stance on Balotelli ;-)

    Casemiro is a Real Madrid player, though, so he they may decide to keep him. Then again, they've just signed Lucas Silva.

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  80. Yeah he let loose a bit as Shamsy. Like Logan they took too much the Rodgers out view and felt they had to stand by it and hold on to it with vigor. It wound him up too much.

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  81. Fair enough. Would have loved to see suso go the other way as I rekon simeone could have made a player out of him.
    Maybe athletico will take borini or balo in return? Balo could be their Costa v2.

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  82. Haha happy wife, happy life mate

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  83. Simeone isn't that daft...

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  84. I wasn't even suggesting we sign Casemiro as like I say, I've only seen him play once but he was very impressive

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  85. lol. Gerrard himself knows the right time to call it a day

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  86. Yea they didn't seem fussed. Schalke could've scored at least double what they did

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  87. We've got to think about emerging markets. The gay dollar is hot right now. Ian Ayre has been doing his part with his sexy biker leathers.

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  88. I wouldn't take any player from soton even if for peanuts,, they mercilessly robbed us nearly 60m on claps

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  89. 18m pounds? U er having a laugh.. Only a transfer sucker like BR (sorry ) would pay that without any hesitation

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  90. Yup, spot on. Though I think Logan is more reasonable! I understand his frustrations with Rodgers early this season, just disagreed that that should mean Rodgers should get the sack.

    Good work that you do, though. Respect.

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  91. 22 is more likely the amount he is worth to us. If there are no'suckers', keep him, we can use him..

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  92. B Rodgers should recall Manquillo(20) to the side against Swansea as i think Montero(25) would anielate Markovic(20) .


    S Gerrard(34) does not have the energy, legs, mobility, pace or speed he he had 5-7 years ago and should not be automatic starter.


    B Rodgers should play Lallana(26) Or Coutinho(22) alongside Sterling(20) behind sturridge(25) as the pace and speed of Sterling(20) and Sturridge(25) causes defences problems and we can always get in behind teams.


    The team B Rodgers should play against Swansea on Monday should be:


    Mignolet
    Can Skrtel Sakho
    Manquillo Henderson Allen Moreno


    Coutinho/Lallana Sterling


    Sturridge

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  93. ALLEN is garbage can't see why everyone is raving about him are they watching different matches to be?

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  94. IBE for right wing back, hes been amazing there

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  95. I also agree with you there and I thought Moreno and Marko linked up well when they played on the left side, I think vs tottnham the 3-0 game

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  96. I disagree with that. Stevie cant press as much as you put it the orme. I cant remember seeing Stevie making a succesfull tackle in the middle of the park.

    Comparing him to defensive midfielders, he is weak. http://www.squawka.com/players/steven-gerrard/stats#performance-score#liverpool-(current)#english-barclays-premier-league#8#season-2014/2015#126#all-matches#1-28#by-match

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  97. Playing 90 minutes of 90% of games yes. As I said, replace or sub in 60th, and rest for some entire games.

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  98. Madrid-Shalke was an incredible game, Madrid are on a low point right now and are there for the taking vs decent teams...I think as we are now we could give them a better game. But I agree we are still a way off the pace right now.

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