3 Aug 2009

Debunking Liverpool FC myths: No 2 – Liverpool struggle without Steven Gerrard in the team

One of the biggest recurring myths about Liverpool FC is that the team struggles without Steven Gerrard in the side. The tabloid media are notorious for perpetuating this blatantly false myth, the result of which is many people - home fans included - actually believe that Liverpool FC is a one-man team. Well, it's time to set the record straight once and for all.

The irrefutable truth is this: Liverpool do just fine without Gerrard in the side, and history proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. To illustrate this, I've examined every competitive game Gerrard has missed since the 2000-2001 season. Here are the results:

Total games played without Gerrard since 2000 - 80

Wins - 48
Draws - 13
Defeats - 19

Goals For – 138
Goals Against – 72

* Won 60% of games
* Lost 24%
* Drew 16%

* Average goals scored per game - 1.7
* Average goals conceded per game - 0.8
* Unbeaten in 76% of games

As you can see, these statistics are superb:

* Unbeaten in almost 8 out of 10 games without Gerrard in the side.
* Almost 2 goals per game scored
* Less than 1 goal per game conceded

I don't dispute that Gerrard is important to the side - of course he is - but as the figures above prove, Liverpool can survive without him and have done so many times in the past. Of course, I would prefer to have Gerrard in the team, but if he's not, we should still be confident in the team.

So - from this point forward, the argument that Liverpool struggle without Gerrard in the side is no longer credible in any way ;-)

Below is a list of every game Liverpool have played without Gerrard since the 2000-2001 season:


Aston Villa 0-0
Man United 2-1(sub)
Crewe 2-1
Spurs 2-4
Fulham 0-0
Portsmouth 3-2
Man City 1-1
Blackburn 4-0
Chelsea 4-4
Arsenal 4-4
Hull 1-3

PL 11 W5 D5 L1


Sunderland 2-0
Toulouse 4-0
Derby 6-0
Chelsea 0-2
Luton 1-1
Fulham 2-0

PL 6 W4 D1 L1


Bordeaux 1-0
Reading 4-3
Birmingham 1-0
Galatasaray 2-3
Portsmouth 1-2

PL 5 W3 L2


CSKA Sofia 0-1
CSKA Moscow 2-1
Blackburn 1-0
Anderlecht 1-0
Fulham 0-2
Charlton 0-2
WBA 2-0
Blackburn 1-0
West Ham – 2.1

PL 9 W6 L3


Norwich 3-0
Olympiacos 0-1
Chelsea 0-1
Fulham 4-2
Deportivo 0-0
Charlton 2-0
Millwall 3-0
Blackburn 2-2
Deportivo 1-0
Birmingham 0-1
Tottenham 1-1
Burnley 0-1
Bayer Leverkusen 3-1
Juventus 0-0
Aston Villa 2-1

PL 15 W7 D4 L4


Chelsea 1-2
Yeovil 2-0
Chelsea 1-0
Villa 1-0
Tottenham 1-2

PL 5 W3 L2


Leeds 1-0
Spartak Moscow 3-1
Crystal Palace 0-2
Middlesbrough 1-1
Birmingham 1-2

PL 5 W2 D1 L2


Man United 2-1
West Ham 2-1
Tottenham 1-0
Newcastle 2-0
Grimsby 1-2
Boavista 1-1
Leicester 1-0
Fulham 2-0
Newcastle 3-0
Charlton 2-0
Tottenham 0-1

PL 11 W8 D1 L2


Arsenal 0-2
Rapid Bucharest 1-0
Derby 4-0
Slovan Liberic 1-0
Chelsea 2-1
Stoke 8-0
Leeds 2-0
Roma 2-0
Man City 4-2
Roma 0-1
Derby 1-1
Everton 3-2
Coventry 2-0

PL 13 W10 D1 L2


  1. This is the first time I agree with you Jaimie, surely this shows we are more than a 1 man team that some media rags proclaimed.

    But one thing is look at how much goals Gerrard has contributed since Rafa arrived and how he has being turned into a goal machine for a player of his position.

  2. There's a first time for everything ;-)

    I agree that Gerrard's goal return is increasingly impressive. I think he's finally found his optimum position. Having said that, he seems to get more success in the withdrawn striker role against weaker teams. Against top teams, the Gerrard/Torres partnership does not seem to be as effective.

  3. good point but we are a better team with him than without him.
    The other liverpool myth which you might want to focus on is .....

    Lucas is good enough to play in the red jersey

  4. Unfortunately your point is missed on last season - the 4-4 with Arsenal and Chelsea where having a Gerrard in the sides could have made such a difference (Adding more pressure on utd could have meant a league title) and who knows what could have happened if we'd scraped past Chelsea

  5. Is Lucas good enough?

    Another question along similar lines was asked during Gerard Houlliers reign. Is Jamie Carragher good enough to be in the Liverpool team?

    These questions are answered in the fullness of time.

    Remember mascherano wasn't deemed good enough for West Hams team.

    Confidence plays a huge part. Lets get behind him, try and bestow some confidence and see if Rafa's faith will be justified. He obviously sees a lot in him.

  6. @Anon 7.56 - Gerrard played in the Chelsea first leg at Anfield, did he not? Liverpool lost 3-1. At home. So it's not a foregone conclusion that having him in the team against Chelsea and Arsenal would've made all the difference. And what about all the other big games over the years in which he's played but ended up losing?

  7. Mr Anonymous...

    Lucas is not good enough and will never be.

    Every player who you mentioned that was questioned has a strength to compensate for a weakness:

    Carra - lack of pace is easily covered by his last ditch tackles

    Masch - lack of being selected by west ham was down to a muppet of a manager. He doesnt have goals but he is a lil pitbull who i wudnt swap for any other Def Mid in the world

    Lucas - for a CM. cant pass, cant score, cant tackle, cant run.... so why is he in our starting line up???

    I have waited n waited n watched n watchd. from the kop to the anfield road to stamford bridge... he is average at best!

  8. We lose 1 in 4 matches Gerrard doesn't play in. If that was our season we would lose NINE matches. You call that a decent return?

  9. Mr Anonymous,

    I do understand the majority of your post. And agree with a lot. So Its purely from a personal point of view. I see something in Lucas. I think he has good game intelligence. I do think he can spot a pass. But I do see him as someone who can link play and do a lot of simple things well. He may never be flash but neither was Ronnie Whelan. Yet he was an integral part of that team.

    I may be talking through my Rectum but I don't think every player needs to be spectacular to be worthy of his place. Look at Michael Carrick.

  10. @Anon 8.10 - With Gerrard actually in the team, the loss/failure to win ratio is worse, so yes, I think that's a good return.

  11. That game against Chelsea showed why Mascherano is crucial to the side.

    Lucas is good enough, his performances stepped up a notch from Christmas to the end of the season. As for the Gerrard/Torres partnership not being profilic against the top sides - Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Arsenal in the past and the game at OT Gerrard and Torres ran riot on the United defence.

  12. FFS dont let the yanks see this! lol

    I wonder what the same stats would say about Alonso?

    Lucas is useless and clearly cant cope in the prem. I really cant understand why hes still here, let alone starting league games.

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  14. To mr anonymous who is posting to me bout lucas....

    His passing is poor. it may have improved but thats only coz it cudnt have got worse. Michael Carrick isnt dazzling but has a catalogue of passes.

    Alonso isnt dazzling with skill but has more passes in his makeup than paris hilton has sex tapes!

    My point is... with a lucas starting for us.. we are at a disadvantage. esp vs big teams. He needs to improve so lts see him have a run in reserves or loaned out.