4 Apr 2014

'He's the Guv'nor': Redknapp hails 'magnificent' £25m star. better than Gerrard?

Bayern Munich let the side down on Tuesday by failing to inflict on Manchester United the soul-destroying thrashing for which every Liverpool fan hoped and prayed. United somehow contrived to escape with a draw, but Bayern dominated until a typical Wayne Rooney dive led to the imperious Bastien Schweinsteiger seeing Red. As usual, the media focuses much of it's attention on Munich's attacking players, but Jamie Redknapp insists it's Schweinsteiger who deserves the most praise.

In his column for the Daily Mail this week, Redknapp enthused:

"Everybody talks about Robben, Ribery and Bayern’s fantastic forward players, but Bastian Schweinsteiger is their governor. The Germany star acts like a minder in the middle and, he is capable of great moments of skill. He proved that with a magnificent finish for Bayern’s equaliser"

Schweinsteiger made a rash challenge, but there was no contact with Rooney...until he deliberately ran into the German's trailing leg and then dived to the ground:

Back in 2011, Liverpool were linked with a move to Schweinsteiger, but at the time, Anfield legend John Barnes totally dismissed the idea. He noted:

"We have been linked with a lot of big names, such as David Villa, Eden Hazard and Bastein Schweinsteiger, At this moment in time, I don't think they will be coming to Liverpool"

Steve Nicol, Didi Hamann and Jan Molby are also big fans of Schweinsteiger. When asked last summer who he'd advise Brendan Rodgers to buy, Nicol told Talksport:

"[Bastien] Schweinsteiger would be fantastic in the middle of the park for Liverpool. Maybe not a Souness in terms of physicality, but a player who can defend, and also open up defences with his skill"

After watching Bayern Munich dismantle Arsenal in last season's Champions League, Hamann tweeted:

"Bayern tore an average Arsenal team apart today. [Bastien] Schweinsteiger said he [Wilshere] is top class, but what was he meant to say? Schweini showed today who is world class and who isn't"

In a column last year for Eurosport this week, Molby observed:

"Now that Schweinsteiger has Javi Martinez behind him to protect him when he goes forward, he is on another level and seems to be improving all the time too"

£20m-rated Schweinsteiger is a massively important part of the Bayern machine, and former manager Jupp Heynckes made it clear how important the 28-year old is to the German club's cause. He raved:

"Bastian is a key reason that we concede so few goals. Sergio Busquets is one fabulous player, and in my view Bastian shares with him the status of the world’s best midfielder. He is priceless."

I remember the Schweinsteiger speculation in 2011, and looking back now, it's amusing to think that some fans actually believed that a player of his caliber would come to LFC, who were out of the CL, and struggling badly in the league.

How does Schweinsteiger stack up against Steven Gerrard? Who is the better player? As an LFC fan, I'd always have Gerrard, but looking at the two players objectively, who is the superior midfielder? One thing's for sure: 'Schweini' has performed more effectively on the international stage, but Liverpool's captain has the chance to eclipse the German at the World Cup this summer.

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  1. Not doubt that Schweinsteiger is a fine player, but his lack of goals puts him behind many of the great midfielders.

  2. Frankie Fletcher11:34 am, April 04, 2014

    Overall Gerrard. In both of their primes still Gerrard. Normally I'd say Schweinsteiger is better now with Gerrard ageing but with the way Gerrard is playing lately then its Gerrard again. Having said all this I am a big fan of Bastian and would have him in liverpool's starting 11 any day

  3. Probably a close call but at times SG has virtually carried Liverpool alone. I think we'd be wise not to judge their relative merits on which team does best at the WC though.....

  4. Clyne(23) has played for the England U21's for last two seasons and has regularly played for Southampton's first team previous three seasons. Only this season he has been dislodged by Chambers, but he is a better player and has more experience than J Flannagan(21) so we should bring him to club in summer.

    D Lovren(24) is a better defender and better player and has scored more goals than S Caulker(22) this season. D Lovren(24) is awesome defender and has made a few mistakes, but he's made more tackles, interceptions , blocks than mistakes and just like Skrtel. They have been the best defenders at their respective clubs this season hands down, including their mistakes.

    B Jones(32) is not a good enough back up, Mccarthy(24) would not be back up, he would be competing with Mignolet(25) for that No 1 position week in week out. And either one could hold the position as they are of the same calibre, class and age. Two class, hungry young goalkeepers competing for the N0 1 position at club could only make team, side and squad stronger

  5. Owen, I am being realistic. FSG are tight as hell, even if we win league. They are not giving B Rodgers £100M to spend and players. Man United spend £64.5M on 2 dud players.

    Our owners need to Give B Rodgers £60-£70M minimum in summer, but even that they will make excuse not to give it to him.

    The players your mentioning are £15-£30M players, we need to sort our Squad.

    We need to ship 5 poor dead or injury prone defensive players out: GK B Jones CB S Coates
    CB K Toure RB M Kelly LB A Cissokho

    1 world class player manager no longer trusts or wants at club: GK P Reina

    And those 6 defensive players need to be replaced by 5 class quality defensive players.

    Let alone the 4 expensive attackers you think we should spend our money on

  6. The dive ... look, when there is a player sliding underneath you and you would have to leap over him in order to stay on your feet I don't really care if Rooney had "drag" his leg in order to simulate contact. I'm not even convinced he did. It's not an outstretched toe he needs to avoid, it's the entire upper leg and bum of the tackling player. If I have a player tackling me like that my main concern would actually be how I land. Maybe I can stay on my feet or maybe my ankle or knee end up in a bad position. Given the choice I'm going to ground to preserve myself against injury, regardless of the decision on the foul. That I say all of this about a United player I have every reason to dislike (and I really do) is an indication of where I stand on this issue. Tackles like that really give the attacking players very little option. You either take the contact, stamp on the player or go to ground. That's not the attacking player's fault, it's the guy who's making the dumb tackle in the first place. I think in this instance it's wrong to ignore the responsibility of players to not put other players in danger. Schweinsteiger was reckless and that is getting lost in the argument about what Rooney did. The most important aspect of this is the tackle, not the dive, and yet people just talk about the dive, almost as if what Rooney did give the tackler the right to walk away with some sense of dignity and injustice. To me that's total BS.

  7. Gerrard most definitely is better than Schweinsteiger.

  8. InRodgersITrust

  9. The thing with Rooneys dive, is that he probably would've been fouled anyway. He didn't need to throw himself like that, and throwing his head back like he did, lol.
    Also, Gerrard is better! because I say so!

  10. Oh the Horror! How sick Schweinsteiger must have felt when he was compared to Busquets. He was a dynamite, kinda like Hendo but with a swagger and more goals, when he was young (Still remember his goal from the 2006 WC); but then he moved to Bayern and started marshalling midfield. He's more Xabi than Gerrard. But nevertheless a fine player.

  11. Not only Gerrard is better, he is way better IMO. Gerrard is the most complete midfielder of his generation. I don't rate anyone else higher but that's just me.

  12. Rodgers on Luis Alberto earlier today

    "It's probably been a difficult season for Luis because he hasn't had many opportunities to make an impact. But he needs to keep working.

    "He's still a very young player and he does have quality. It shows you the level of where we are at. It was a signing for the long term - that was the idea.

    "He's a young player who has come in and sampled life at a big club and made a contribution. He will stay with the group for the rest of the season and then we will review his development come the summer."

    "I look at training and assess it every day," the Northern Irishman continued. "Luis is working hard but we've had young players coming in and making an impact like Joao, who has been exceptional.

    This tells us that there is nothing wrong with Alberto's ability but maybe he has just struggled to adapt hence Rodgers saying that he needs to keep working. Pull your socks up lad!

  13. Yeah it sounds like a kick up the bum doesn't it. Although that whole assess at the end of the season thing sounds ominous. I had a theory that Alberto is not with the senior squad because he wants him to have more time with youth to get him doing what he wants. Didn't Flanno all the past the reserves to under 21s at one stage? I think Inglethorpe knows what he wants and it's up to him to give that extra bit that he and the senior set up may not have time for. I will be interested to see how it all turns out by next year. Joao, Suso, Coutinho and Alberto all wanting that "Allen" role in the three. Plus Allen himself. Horses for courses for sure but it is a lot of competition. I can see some more loans in the future of a couple of those players.

  14. If the question is who is the best over all player in their career it's Gerard. If it who is the best at the dictating role Gerard has now then again it is Stevie, if the question is who is currently the best box to box midfielder it is Schweinsteiger.

  15. Not much in it but while schweinsteiger has obviously been a massive part of bayern's success, he hasn't had the individual impact on bayern that Stevie has had on Liverpool. I shudder to think if the depths we could have plummeted to in recent years if we hadn't had gerrard. He's been a colossus for us

  16. I cannot see Suso wanting to sit on the bench next season to be honest. He is getting regular football now which is not going to be possible at Anfield with the competition for places at the moment plus we will be adding to the squad in the summer which makes his chances of starting even slimmer.

  17. Well said mate. I'm a big fan of schweinsteiger and would rather crap in my hand and clap than defend Rooney but in this case I think you're right

  18. danny ings for me

  19. so matt le tisser, robbie fowler to just name a few were no good coz they only had a handfull of caps ? dont talk rubbish

  20. rather danny ings hes superb and will only get better

  21. Hmm it's a good point and despite the opportunity of more games next season Suso will not be first choice. I would think he would be ahead of Alberto though as he is seemingly further along in his football career. I can see Joao and Luis going out on loan next season and Suso coming back to fight for his place. Truth is we have been fortunate in some ways in certain areas. Suarez and Henderson have not had any injuries and despite Suarez ban both have played all the games they could. We can't expect that every year. Especially not with Hendo's gait. ;-p

  22. He does switch off at times.

  23. Diego higher status than toure? I think if you compared the 2 players winners medals there would only be one winner. I'd quite like to pick up Diego on a free but everyone else you've got on your list make me wonder what cocktail of drugs you're taking

  24. Still do not think Suso will return unless he has assurances of a starting place.

  25. Toure was great at Arsenal and won medals,he won medlas at City, but did he play a huge part in success? Not really,
    but he is not known on the global stage or rated as highly as Diego.

  26. What don't you understand!? He doesn't think Rooney dove!

    I agree with him. Though ugly he has all of the classic human traits and next to no traits of a dove.

  27. Schweini is the better player today, but at their respective peaks then it has to be Gerrard. In reality though, two different kinds of players though both have occupied different roles in the midfield throughout their career. Schweini used to play wide and as a more offensive midfield player, just as Gerrard has.

    Both are two of the finest midfield players of their generation.

  28. If it aint broke, dont fix it ( Spurs anyone?) Bring in four attacking players?? So Suarez, Sturridge, Coutinho, and sterling are not good enough??
    The attack and midfield need two or three players to compete with the current players and to rotate for cup games, without weakening the side.

    A left back and left winger are a priority to bring more threat from the wide area and increase the available options.

    Two or 3 of the most talented 18-19 year olds in the world for Rodgers to transform into world beaters and Liverpool will start to become the Machine they were in their glory days.

  29. Thisisanfield have got an article about Alberto and Aspas that is worth reading.

  30. Dived is the traditional past tense and past participle of the verb dive. But the newer dove, which probably came about by analogy with similar words like drove and wove, has been in the language approximately two centuries and is now standard in American and Canadian English. Outside North America, where dived still prevails by a large margin, some might consider dove wrong.

    You guys need to catch up! Language changes...get over yourselves.

  31. The only players that are assured a starting role are Gerrard and Suarez. Just two players, not even Sturridge. Regardless of form Stevie and Suarez will play, Sturridge would get dropped.

    If you just hand out starting assurances you defeat the purpose of a competitive squad. How else is a squad meant to be competitive then? Suso is head and shoulders above Alberto and if he does return, he would definitely stake a claim for himself, unlike Alberto who was a needless signing.

    Aspas has declared that he is looking for a new club. I think Alberto should find one too for the sake of his career - He does not want to be a more expensive Dani Pacheco.

  32. I'm looking forward to their goalkeeper being Pinto for a while...

  33. I think Bastian might be a little ahead of Gerrard currently but both in their prime is a non-contest. Gerrard wins hands down. Even on todays form its a tough pick. Gerrard has had an outstanding season, one which might actually put him out ahead again.

  34. Im not sure how you can possibly call that a dive. Yes there's no contact but only because rooney has to jump a foot and a half to avoid the guy steaming in two footed, you cant say thats natural?!!

    I thought Schweini and Pep totally embarrassed themselves by their reaction to it.