22 Mar 2013

Disrespectful? Is Steven Gerrard right with this disappointing view on LFC...?

England captain Steven Gerrard has once again hinted that playing for the national team is more important than playing for Liverpool.

Speaking to the Press ahead of the World Cup qualifier with San Marino tonight, Gerrard unambiguously argued that playing for England is the most important thing in his career. He told Reporters:

"Playing for England is the pinnacle of everyone's career. There's no better stage for a footballer to play on. If I'm not playing [against San Marino], I'll be very disappointed, which shows what it means to me"

If playing for England is the 'pinnacle' of his career, and there's 'no better stage for a footballer to play on', then surely Gerrard is indirectly saying here that playing for the national team is more important than playing for Liverpool?

This is not the first time Gerrard has made statements like this. In the past, he's made it explicitly clear that playing for England takes precedence over playing for Liverpool. For example, in 2007, he told The Guardian:

"When I join up with England, these games are bigger than Champions League games or league games. You're representing your country. If you go to a major tournament and play well it's a lot bigger than achieving something at your club."

Gerrard’s disappointing views are arguably at odds with the majority of Liverpool fans, who prioritise club over country, but Gerrard believes that's a selfish attitude:

"Maybe that is supporters being selfish. As a player, you want to play in the biggest games. Those are European [Championship] games and World Cup games."

I hate to hear LFC players prioritising their national teams. In this case, Gerrard's comments - both past and present - are unambiguous: he cares more about playing for England than Liverpool, and in that respect, he is similar to former Reds striker Michael Owen, who shamelessly prioritised country over club for years.

Whilst I can understand his patriotism, this is not what you want to hear from a homegrown Liverpool Captain. Fans love to believe that Gerrard is an extension of them, representing their hopes and dreams as a ‘local boy done good’, but the reality is sadly very different. Gerrard is very far removed from the average fan on the street - he lives in a different world, and arguably has very little in common with the fawning fans who put him on a pedestal.

Gerrard has achieved *nothing* with England, but he's led Liverpool to some major trophies over the years. As a homegrown Liverpudlian, surely those trophies should be more important than winning nothing with England?

Ultimately, does it really matter if Gerrard thinks England is more important? Some will argue no, but for me, Gerrard is sabotaging his Liverpool career by persisting with England. He should follow John Terry's lead and retire, and put all his energy into prolonging his Anfield career.

Gerrard and the so-called 'golden generation' have had enough chances to win something with England, but he and his overpaid team-mates have repeatedly failed to do the business. With his injury problems over the last few years, the Reds captain is arguably putting his long-term LFC career at risk by prolonging his England tenure.

Gerrard called LFC fans 'selfish' for believing he should prioritise LFC, but isn't risking injury - and his fitness for the Reds - selfish on his part, especially when he's approaching 33?

If Gerrard had to choose between England and Liverpool, what choice do you think he would make? I think the answers is obvious.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. I think he said that just because he was talking to journos who support England and not Liverpool. Just like on lfc tv he said he would rather captain lfc than England.

  2. The answer is obvious but i think that the fact that he has 'won nothing' or even came close to winning any of the major international championships still haunts him... And he still wants to change that... Though i agree the 'golden' boys had lots of opportunities...
    Anyway, its up to him to manage his fitness... Either way, we need to find his replacement quick...

  3. to be honest i think you are reading into it way too much the guys has given his heart and soul to liverpool and has lead them to a large amount of trophies i believe you do your talking on the pitch and if that is the case he hasnt said much as an england player has he?

  4. It's just a slap in the face for Ferdinand as per Roy's advice.

  5. He has a few years until retirement, he knows these last few years are his last before he hangs up his boots for good. A footballer is a long time retired, I know if I was a footballer I would want to play every minute of every game I could. England games are played all over the world, sometimes in iconic stadiums with over 80k fans, what footballer wouldn't want to experience that as much as possible. Club & Country go together, given the choice I'd rather lift the world cup as England Captain than the league cup as Liverpool Captain.

  6. Please post a link to the where Gerrard says he would rather captain LFC than England. Thanks.

  7. if thats the way he feels so be it ...there's not a lot you can say...as long as players produce im not arsed ...if im honest i think liverpool will end the season in a shambles so we have more pressing concerns

  8. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't.. Your a Scot right Jaimie ?

    Wonder if you'd have the same attitude if he was a Scot and talking about the pride in playing for ye.. So what if he hasn't won anything .. Does that make every Scottish player's international career a waste of time or any less important to them.. I'm Irish, I certainly like to believe that every player that pulls on a green jersey sees it as the ultimate honour and play as such.

    You clearly don't hold the same value to representing your country as others do, as is your perogative, but I think you'll find that most people in any code of sport will make the same assertion that representing your country is the pinicale of one's career..

    I don't think singling Gerrard out for believing this is fair or warranted.

  9. the only cup hell lift under rogers is his jock strap

  10. thats a bit churlish jaimie as a pro you can want to do both ..its not my dads bigger than your dad

  11. Yes, I would say the same if Gerrard was Scottish. Plus, if Gerrard makes public statements, he - and you - have to expect that people will pick up on them and interpret them in their own way. It's perfectly fair to highlight this, as Gerrard is saying something that is (IMO) important: a Liverpudlian captain of his hometown club clearly believes that playing for England is more important than playing for LFC. He's entitled to that view, but fans are entitled to question it.

  12. It's not churlish at all. I don't believe Gerrard has ever said he'd rather captain LFC ahead of England. If people are going to make assertions like that, they should provide proof. The point being that the obligate need to defend Gerrard sometimes leads to people making baseless generalisations, which I believe to be the case here. I'm happy to be proven wrong, though.

  13. 'interpret them in their own way' being the operative sentence here..

    Explain to me how stating your Country is more important than your home town is a negative .. as you've protrayed it.

    I know your not the biggest Stevie G fan in the world but I think this is grasping at straws a little.. I don't see how you can turn this into some sort of derogatory comment towards Liverpool.

    99 per cent of footballers who have represented their country have said the exact same .. why is Gerrard any different to these.. I don't believe because he captains his home town club a good enough reason..

    After all he Captains his country too ..

  14. This 'my dad is bigger than your dad' stuff is childish,
    It is obvious my dad would batter either one of one your dads.

  15. Chris, it is my opinion that Gerrard stating that England is more important than LFC is a slight against the club. 'Opinion' being the operative word here. If you can't handle that opinion, that's your problem, not mine.

    Given the fact Gerrard is from Liverpool, and lives the dream of captaining his hometown club (which pays his wages, has made him a star, and has provided him with all the success he's had in his career), I don't think he should be saying stuff like this in public, even if he believes it. He could've just said 'it's an honour to captain England', but on several occasions in his career, he's actually unambiguously stated that England is more important than LFC. I think that's wrong.

    Additionally, it adds insult to injury for him to say this when his continued (and totally thankless) association with England threatens his long-term LFC future.

    It's a perfectly viable topic for debate, whether you like it or not.

  16. Fair enough to Gerrard. As long as he gives his all for Liverpool and doesn't save himself like Owen did (which is something you couldn't accuse Gerrard of, considering the amount of games he has played hurt) he can prioritise as he likes.
    Obviously I'd prefer him to pride Liverpool as the pinnacle, but I'd prefer he just speak his mind rather than humour us. He hasn't been disrespectful.

  17. Who doesn't want to play for his country in a world cup ... ?? - It's an occasion not many footballers will ever experience in their careers!!

    You have no right to criticize Gerrard for having the dream and ambition to win the world cup. It's none of your buisness anyway!!

    Stevie has always given his best for Liverpool Football Club.

    You really are the typical journalist ... always trying to stir things up ... pathetic!!

  18. While I'm not as interested in national teams as in club football, need to say it always felt awkward to see this division among football fans in England. In other countries you see players of various clubs (sometimes bitter adversaries like Real Madrid and Barcelona) join to form close bonds to do their country's football and sporting culture proud, while the situation in England looks really unhealthy when you look at it from another country.

  19. Well your in the minority.. which is my point and not just my opinion but a fact.

    As I've said every footballer has made the exact same comment about representing their country.. It's the ultimate honour for them..

    And whether you like it or not that's how they/people feel about it..

  20. How is SG sabotaging his LFC career by playing for Eng? If memory serves, SG is only one of about 3? players to have played in every league game this season, not too shabby for a 33 yo! Its doubtful that you, I or any other fan has any idea of the pride that must be felt by leading out your country. This attitude hasn't stopped SG in practically carrying the club in previous years and attempting to move it on in this transitional period we are in now. I am amazed that you have even made this stance an issue.

  21. So I see things differently to you. Get over it already.

  22. gerrard has a point to prove with England, he has missed so much in the past due to injurys, and hes a proud Englishman end of. you cant question his commitment to either England or Liverpool. hes been mismanaged at England most of his career. lets be honest being an England supporter is very similar to being a Liverpool supporter

  23. Whether I'm in the minority is totally irrelevant. Plus, I don't have a problem with how people feel about it. You're the one moaning about someone having an opinion you don't like, not me.

  24. im not sure on this Jk..the fact its his hometown is irrelevant ...im sure bryan robson.. and co all felt the same way about skippering England ..im not sure they meant to slight there respective clubs...if im honest if your club isnt doing well ..which we are not ..he may well prefer playing for England to get way from the negativity....if your at the top of the league and challenging for cups perhaps your opinions change.

  25. @JamieKanwar -

    It was not so long ago Jamie, that you were pointing out that Gerrard could never be considered World Class because he had not reached the dizzy heights of International success... & if my memory serves me well that was how you were judging whether a player could be considered World Class.....

    Maybe that is why he actually wants to hang around....in the hope that England might just improve enough to be truly competitive at the next major tournament....?

    So, effectively he (Steven Gerrard) is giving himself the chance to maybe prove to the naysayers...etc...critics... and whoever else wants to have an opinion about these type things...

    Damned if he does.....Damned if he doesn't....

    But he certainly gets my thumbs up if he wants to continue playing for his country....

    Nothing would please me more than seeing England do well in 2014....esp IF Gerrard is very much a driving factor, just like he's been at LFC....& this is the way he gets rewarded by being told he should follow the very great role model John Terry..... & quit his England duties because he is disrespecting his Club, the same Club whose fans would largely agree apparently.... that he (Gerrard) was putting Country before Club & is therefore selfish.....

    This is the second article Jamie complaining about Gerrard's apparent selfishness.....

    This is very low journalism IMO, well written etc but below the belt and not exactly the type of article a Liverpool fan wants to read about a player ( "local lad made good...") who has for better or worse...committed his entire career to this sorry state of a Club....

    Not a title to his name...., when the likes of Lampard Carrick etc have pocketed a few.....

    & now he is slighting his Club....

    It is my opinion that he is the one being slighted...NOT the other way round...

  26. im not and will never be a fan of england or english people, but i totally agree with Stevie G, duty honor country pride.

  27. "Given the fact Gerrard is from Liverpool..." Is Liverpool not a part of England? It was last time I was there, maybe that has changed recently.

    I am really going to have to disagree with you one this one. Playing for ones country, especially captaining it is the highlight of a career. It says absolutely nothing about his love of his team.

  28. Jaimie, you have posted an article for debate, then as soon as someone disagrees you tell them to get over it. Do you want people to just read your articles and post "Bravo, well said, Jaimie"?

  29. Hi Jaimie. It's fair enough that you don't have a problem with how people feel about your opinion... but you are publishing your opinion for others to read and debate. To then go on and suggest that someone is moaning because they don't agree with you is just silly and disrespectful to the readers of your blog.

    Personally, this article just reads as controversy for controversy's sake, but hey-ho, it's got a lot of people commenting. Hopefully your next article will be back to your usual higher standards

  30. No problem with Stevie saying what he has. Playing for your country, is something that is a honor. Playing for Liverpool is also honorable, but not the same level. England is a united front, fans of every club in England, that feel proud, watch England and support the national team. England is bigger than Liverpool, everyone with some sense can see it. Winning a World Cup right now, is more important than winning Premier League title, because at the end of the day, people will remember a World Cup triumph instead of a specific year a club team won a league title. Memories like a dominating Spain, a Maradona leading Argentina and the golden era of Brazil. These are much bigger memories and legacies.

  31. No I don't think he is damaging his career or England, from playing out this year. I think at 32-33 that is the last year that you should put in a national performance(maybe as captain wait until Brazil), after that any English player should concentrate on his club career tbh otherwise they are damaging there own chances at their clubs as well as national future players. As an Englishman I think the national team should be honored first and formant but as a Liverpoolian I

  32. To me playing football on any kind of level is a dream but if you do that for your "dream club" that is near as close to the ultimate fantasy as you can get but your country should always be the highest priority

  33. OK but don't you as a (nationalist) at least want your players to be honored and put wearing the shirt above anything else

  34. Well it is relevant when you pose a question to a forum.. Why else do we/you canvas opinion ?

    I don't see what your problem is ? You run a website and asked a question of it's reader's .. I've informed you, as is borne out by the majority of comments , that you are in a minority on this point.. and the reasons why.

    You have done nothing to further your article or opinion on Gerrard's comment's.

    I've logically and rationally challanged your opinion and you've had to resort twice to claim I'm 'moaning'. I never claimed your opinion was moaning, even if the article did take the shape of a rant. It's your opinion and a respectfully disagree with it..

    Your often enough telling people to attack the argument not the person ..

  35. Hi Jaimie, why has my comment replying to yours above been deleted? It can't be the word filter as it was up for about half an hour and has now disappeared. It wasn't rude or derogatory either. What gives???

  36. If Gerard gives anything less than 100 percent for Liverpool then i would worry but in all fairness his club form is superior to his international form.
    I must laugh tho on the comments about it being the biggest stage before a San Marino game.

  37. I stated you're moaning because you *are* moaning, as opposed to just challenging my view. That is obvious from the tone of your comments (i.e. my reasoning is 'not good enough'; I'm in the minority etc). You could've just challenged my view with a counter argument, but your comments are peppered with mildly antagonistic statements.

    If you look at my replies to your comments, I've responded in a totally fair way, and expanded on my view. Just because you don't agree doesn't mean I haven't. You just don't want to accept that someone can think this way.

    Re being in the minority: it is totally and utterly irrelevant to the question under discussion, i.e. Is Gerrard right/wrong to publicly state that England is more important than LFC.

    Use of the 'You're in the minority' approach is not a counter-argument, or an effective form of debate; it's a diversionary tactic.

  38. What are you talking about? The poster above said he was 'amazed' that I 'even made this stance', as if to suggest that it was totally alien to even consider having an opinion that diverges from the group norm.

    So yes, if someone thinks that it's so wrong to have this view on Gerrard then, as I said, they need to get over it.

  39. SG's patriotism should be lauded. But at his age he should be winding down his international career.. Seriously, England will win fcukall in terms of International Trophies. All he is after is his international caps count.
    He may come back crocked and we will pay for his rehabilitation. That not fair.

  40. Just because you hold an opinion on a subject doesn't make it right.. You surely accept this.

    If you think I'm moaning then that's your business mate.. literally .. You make a living on moaning football fans. I think anyone reading this article and our thread will make their own minds up as to who's actually moaning.

  41. I see your point, I didn't realise that you were referring to the final sentence, I thought that you were just dismissing his whole argument. Carry on then.

  42. If you are not a fan of England or English people then you should maybe think about supporting a team in your own country, if you have time to take a break from starting wars and making terrible sit-coms.

  43. Who says I think I'm absolutely right? Where did I say that? I just gave my view. Whether I'm right or not doesn't matter. Like every opinion, some will think it's right, others wil think it's wrong.

    Yes, I'm sure people will see me as moaning, but that doesn't bother me. Any opinion I give that isn't positive about LFC is seen as moaning.

  44. Not sure I agree that your arguments support your opinion Jamie, regardless of the fact that you hold such an opinion
    International class is higher than club class as a player, wouldn't you agree? You have previously said that to be considered World Class a player needs to have done things on the International stage in 99% of the cases (Best?). That places club footballers at a lower level by my reckoning. There are plenty of excellent club pros, Captains even- who weren't international class. Steve Bruce for instance. Great for his club and played right up tp CL level, but not international class compared to his peers, hence few, if any, England caps.
    If you accept that, then it stands to reason that World Cup > CL for a player just as international player>club player. Gerrard is simply stating a widely held view, which is difficult to argue against.
    To illustrate, let's take the case of Gerrard. potential achievements. He has already won the CL with his club as captain. If he lifted the World Cup/ European Championship as captain, would that not be a greater achievement? (I know, it's hardly likely but still..)the CL's been done 5 times in the last 30 years already. the WC? Once in 50+
    If he agrees with my view, and speaking as England Captain, then I would say it's highly likely that he would say what he did , and mean no slight on LFC.
    Would you have expected, say, Bobby Moore, to have said differently? After all, players often change clubs. But never Country. Not in football terms anyway.
    I don't think he meant any slight on LFC or its fans, given that.

  45. He is England captain, he has to say that.

  46. He is the England captain and is getting interviewed in an England shirt. At that moment he is not talking to just Liverpool fans, he is talking to every fan in England, he needs to ensure his responses are politically correct. if he comes out with 'Liverpool is more important', instantly the rest of England will be wondering why we have a an England captain who really doesn't give a toss!! To be honest in the current climate of millionaire 20 yr old, i think playing for your country and doing all the travelling for pride and honor is better than playing for a club where they first ask "how much are you gonna pay me"

  47. Theycallmemrburt1:09 pm, March 23, 2013

    bang on.

    If stevie owned a chain of chip shops he'd be like

    " Chips are the healthiest most nutritious food on the planet. We should all eat chips"

    SG says pretty much what is needed to be said any any given time. Unless that is of course he doesn't like the music at a given nightclub, then it's another matter ;-)

  48. Why do you take every opportunity to knock Liverpool's greatest ever player , the captain of our club , why question his loyalty ? Where is yours by the way ? Should'nt you support some jock team anyway ?