2 Jan 2015

'My Hero': Alonso, Agger, Benitez & 33 others on 'sad' Gerrard news. Blame BR?

It's finally here; the day all Liverpool fans have been dreading for years: club captain Steven Gerrard is leaving Anfield at the end of the season, and although the news is somewhat inevitable, it's still a massive shock to the system.

The reaction is pouring in, and here is a selection of comments from footballers/managers past and present:

Kenny Dalglish

"When I think about Steven Gerrard's career at Liverpool, I am filled with gratitude [and] I just want to say I feel lucky that he was a Liverpool player and that I saw him play".

Rafa Benitez

"He [Gerrard] was always amazing on the pitch, and he always had passion. He's a leader by example and a captain, and he always wanted to improve. One of the best for sure"

Graeme Souness

"He [Gerrard] has been a wonderful servant to the football club. For me, he's one of the greatest players. He would walk into any team Liverpool have had. He's up there with the very, very best"

Jamie Carragher

"Sad day for Liverpool & English football with the Gerrard news. I think it's the right decision all things considered"

Jordan Henderson

"He’s such a leader of our group and a figurehead. He has been for many years."

Alvaro Arbeloa

"To feel the proudest footballer on earth you can either win the most important trophies or play alongside Stevie"

Daniel Agger

"Everyone knows how good a player he is, but what I admire the most is the person behind. A true leader!"

Pepe Reina

"Best player ever to play for LFC. Thanks for so many moments mate!"

Lucas Leiva

"I have had the absolute privilege of working with him day in, day out, for almost 8 years.
An incredible human; a real leader and a great man, who has always maintained his immaculate work ethic".

Luis Garcia

"Best Liverpool player ever. You will never walk alone. All the best on your next adventure"

Gerard Houllier

"If I had to sum Steven up in one word, the word would be class. He is somebody who inspires, somebody who leads, somebody you want to follow."

Phil Thompson

"Mr Steven Gerrard thanks for your time, energy,passion and commitment to our football club. Hopefully you can end on a high"

Raheem Sterling

"He has been brilliant for me. He's always looking after me, always checking to see if I'm alright. He's an inspiration and a great captain"

Kolo Toure

"Steven is a man for great days. He makes the magic when no-one can make it. That is why he is one of the best players in the world. I am really happy to have him as a captain first and as a man because he is a great player"

Daniel Sturridge

"Stevie will always be a legend. He will go down in history as one of the best midfielders in the game. He's just unbelievable every day, a great leader and the perfect example for every young player around the country"

Jamie Redknapp

"I feel very proud and honoured to have been on the same pitch as him. Now he is leaving Liverpool I say one thing to him: do not retire. Go and play in America, you are a young man, you can carry on for five or six years".

Mario Balotelli

"I think of him as being at the same level as Pirlo. Vision, technique but he is powerful as well. Stevie can do anything, he's an amazing player"

Neil Mellor

"What a player who has given LFC so much. It's time to support him and respect what must have been a very tough decision to make"

Martin Kelly

"Lucky to have played with this guy, so level headed for someone with special talent, every football fan will miss him"

Gary Lineker

"Wish Steven Gerrard all the very best for the future. He's been a credit to himself, his country, Liverpool FC and the game of football!"

Xabi Alonso

"My hero. My mate"

Michael Owen

"Hard for the Steven Gerrard news to sink in. Amazing servant to Liverpool, arguably the best of all time".

Jonjo Shelvey

"It was an honour to get the chance to play alongside Steven Gerrard. Will always be a legend".

John Aldridge

"The day we all dreaded for years. LFC's best player of all time in my opinion. Hopefully win a trophy to go out on"

Brendan Rodgers

"As a leader and as a man, he is probably incomparable to anyone I have ever worked with".

Ray Clemence

"Steve Gerrard has earned the right to decide when to leave @LFC true legend, great man and wish him the best in whatever he decides to do"

Didi Hamann

"An era comes to the end with SG leaving LFC. I think he made the right call. What a career, what a player. Thanks for the many wonderful moments".

Peter Crouch

"I've been fortunate to have played with some top players in my time but Stevie g is easily the best I have played with"

Rickie Lambert

"He has meant everything to me, growing up as a Liverpool fan. The nights he has given Liverpool fans are unbelievable - I'll never forget them and I know the Liverpool fans will never forget them".

Mamadou Sakho

"He's a respectful man, calm, serene, with a foot like clockwork. He puts the ball exactly where he wants. He's an exceptional person on and off the pitch"

Jordan Rossiter

"I know myself that if I go on to have half or even just a bit of the career Stevie's had, I'll have had a great career in football"

Lazar Markovic

"When we say Liverpool, most of us think of Steven Gerrard and that's not only the case with us who were born in the Nineties. He is a legend, an icon, the king of the club"

Ryan Babel

"The best I've worked with!"

Dani Pacheco

"Stevie G. The biggest I have seen and Worked with. What a player outside and inside"


"We all wish him well in this endeavour and look forward to welcoming him back to Anfield in the future, when the time is appropriate."

A few points:

* As sad as it is to say goodbye to one of Liverpool's greatest every players, it's arguably the right time for Gerrard to move on. Time waits for no man, and the brutal truth is that Gerrard is struggling to have a consistent influence on the team. The 2-2 draw with Leicester underlined that yet again, and it's painful to watch the incremental decline of a player who has given so much to the club over the years.

* That said, Rodgers' handling of Gerrard is (IMO) partly to blame for his exit. If utilised correctly, Gerrard could've contributed to Liverpool for another 1-2 years. Lampard at Chelsea, and Giggs at Man United are prime comparisons here: their respective managers selected a low-impact position in which they'd be likely to excel, and then played them there sparingly, which helped to prolong their careers, and also aided ongoing effectiveness.

* Rodgers should've moved Gerrard to the number 10 role last season, and just kept him there. Instead, he used him as a holding midfielder, and a central midfielder (this season), which cruelly exposed the captain's weaknesses, and had a detrimental effect on the team's progress. It also invited constant criticism of Gerrard, which quite possibly played into his decision to move on.

* I genuinely believe that if Rodgers had simply played Gerrard as an attacking midfielder over the last year, he would've scored more goals from open play, and the confidence gained from that may have given him a huge boost. Yes, the club came close to winning the league last season, but I think most fans will agree that Suarez and Sturridge are the main reason for that.

* Again, look at Lampard: he's performing brilliantly for Manchester City, and regularly scoring goals. That should be Gerrard this season, but as a result of Rodgers' failure to utilise him correctly, the captain's LFC career is going out with a whimper instead of a bang. Of course, that may change over the second half of the season, and if the club can end this year with a trophy or two, it'll be the perfect way to see Gerrard off.

* Perhaps I'm being too harsh on Rodgers. It's possible that Gerrard still would've made the decision to leave even if he'd been utilised as a number 10. He likes to be the heartbeat of the team, and the deep-lying playmaker role is his favoured position.

* Aldo and several others contend that Gerrard is Liverpool's 'greatest every player', and it's a lovely romantic notion, but I don't agree with that. I just don't see how a captain who failed to lead Liverpool to the Premier League title can be considered the club's greatest ever player.

* In terms of versatility, Gerrard is possibly one of the most effective players in Liverpool's history, but when it comes to 'greatest' ever, Dalglish (IMO) is still ahead of him, as is Graeme Souness, mainly because both players were absolutely integral to LFC's sustained success in the (late) '70s and '80s, a period that created the legend that is Liverpool FC.

I still vividly remember watching Gerrard's LFC debut back in 1998, and it feels strange to witness the start and end of such a long career at Anfield. Like so may other fans, I've lived vicariously through Gerrard, and it's been an absolute joy and a privilege to watch him play over the last 17 years.

Is Gerrard irreplaceable? In my view, no. There will probably never be an LFC player quite like Gerrard again (ditto Dalglish, Souness, Barnes etc), but history suggests that, in time, another inspirational talisman will emerge at Anfield. Like Suarez, Gerrard the player can't be replaced, but his impact on the team can be replaced.

Right now, though, fans still have six months to enjoy Gerrard in a red shirt, and that's a definite blessing. Plus, Liverpool still have three cups to play for, and it will be absolutely amazing if Gerrard can finish his LFC career by lifting all three :-)



  1. Wow instead of just celebrating Gerrards liverpool career you can't help but have dig. Very bitter man.

  2. Gerrard is and will forever be, a true Liverpool great, defined by his passion for the game and his total dedication and commitment to Liverpool FC. He has carried himself with the utmost dignity and professionalism throughout all the good times and the bad, and through some (IMO) unjust criticism of late. Rare qualities indeed in the world of football.

    It should be a sad day for all of us ( I might even get teary). I can't even begin to contemplate the number of times I have seen him dig his team out of a gaping hole through sheer will and desire; a magnificent one-man dynamo. I will miss those marauding runs into enemy territory.

    I think it's the right decision for both player and club, at the right time. Liverpool will need to find a way to survive without his spirit, presence and star quality; no easy feat.

  3. Well, we could be enjoying his career even more if BR used him intelligently.

  4. Much as I have tried I cannot think of anything that can't be blamed on BR ;-)

  5. I was about to say global warming, but now I think about it the guy must produce an ungodly amount of CO2.

  6. And methane too- a lot of methane

  7. I even blame him for JK blaming him for everything

  8. I have checked on Wiki and in global terms Cattle produce slightly more CO2 than Brendan but significantly less BS

  9. At least if Brendan's managerial career stalls he will have a hell of a future in the manufacture of agricultural fertilizers.

  10. Why let him go if i was the manager i,d say Steve you have been a brilliant servant to this club and for that and your immense talent i want you to be part of the coaching team here at this club no other team can have you so here you are a contract with a salary increase.

    This is your home how can you leave us behind, no never i wont have it Steve.

    Thats what Rogers should have did.

    An idiot that man Rogers.

  11. Jamie I disagree when Gerrard was played as no.10 this season he slowed attacks down and he lost his eye for goal, Lallana and Coutinho are better no.10s than Gerrard in my opinion at theis moment in time

  12. Well, as much as it pains me to look at the enemy, I remember MU fans enjoying Paul Scholes and Ryan Gigs far longer than we enjoyed Gerrard.

  13. I think he would have linked up greatly with Balotelli. We saw glimpses of in one game so far.

  14. Nicolas Chamberlain7:17 pm, January 02, 2015

    I think its a shame that after last season where he was after Suarez our most influential and best player, things are going to end like this and that only 6 months later. I think all the criticism on Gerrard this season is way too harsh. The fact is that Gerrard is surrounded by too many mediocre players. When your defense and GK are insecure, strikers can't score and only one or two attacking players are playing just above average, things are going to be hard. Even the Gerrard of 2007 or 2008 would have struggled in this side.
    I truly think there is something not right with BR, FSG and the offer they gave him. I'm a bit gutted.
    He will always be my most favorite player by a mile.
    He brought nothing but joy and passion.
    Captain Fantastic can't be replaced.

  15. I admire his realisation that now is probably the best timne for him to leave. I would have hated for him to be the bloke who didn't kinow when to give it up, and go on to tarnish an impeccable record.... What I do find odd though, is the timing, at the start of a transfer window, this seems like an odd time to let any potential signings that one of our big draws is not going to be here anymnore. I just hope it doesn't have a negtative impact on any potential transfer deals..... Big respect to the bloke on his contribution over the years though, and good luck for the future. YNWA.

  16. Riggers plyed him out of position

  17. this was the best time to leave really...still hurts that he couldnt win the title

  18. Is BR capable of using anyone intelligently? Expect Mignolet on the wing and Sterling at centre-half shortly.

  19. Get de Boer now and Stevie will change his mind and be utilised in an intelligent manner.

  20. There are quite a few incredible ideas on the internet but this one is something special :-)

  21. There is no way that playing Gerrard less would mean him staying longer. He is a proud man and wants and believes he can play every game. I think the writing on the wall is what lead him to this decision and that's that.
    TBH his form took a nosedive the season after Rafa came second. I think last year hurt Stevie more than anyone. He knows he is not going to win it with us and will be used more sparingly as the seasons go on. Why not get some sun instead?

  22. They were winning titles. Is Gerard happy being a bit part player in the also-rans?

  23. I would have liked to see Stevie have a go in the 3 man defence, it's not as if the defence has been solid and with the way BR tries to play - sometimes out from the back, sometimes a more direct quicker defence splitting ball - I just feel that some of Stevie's passing ability could have been utilised back there which would also allow younger legs into midfield. Of course, that idea could completely bomb but I would find it an interesting experiment to at least try and see if there is any mileage - sometimes you just don't know. Of course, anyone watching MOTD last night will know it's not my idea but I found the idea interesting when presented.

  24. I would have liked him to retire at lfc, but imo i think it is not that he was not given the contract that he wanted, I think he just has the desire to play for a year or two in the mls (which is where he will end up anyway). Who knows what he had heard from other players who switched to the US league. I wish him all the best.

  25. Great player without doubt but sorry he isn't (IMO ) the greatest in fact he wouldn't make my top 5 he may make the top 10
    Can't agree with you laying the blame at Brendon Rogers door though it's 90% due to age, injuries etc

  26. check the stats kanwar!!! Gerrard was runner-up to Suarez for player of the year last year with loads of assists and plenty key passes and chances created, all the while playing in the holding midfield role.......

  27. I disagree that he's not the greatest because of no EPL titles. Look at the players guys like Dalglish and Barnes had around them, and then look at Gerrard. Now, apart from last season, it was beyond Gerrard's control.

  28. I dont think anything anyone can say can be enough. Gerrard has been Liverpool FC for the past decade and a half. Through failing managers, terribble owners, transfer funds wasted and the collective inability of the club to build a team around him worthy of him, he has still managed to bring moments of glory to this club. More moments than those in charge of it deserved. He has been our lifeline throughout and I dread what happens next. Weve had the "if you lose a player like Carragher" and "If you lose a player like Suarez" excuses for underperformance this and last season. So perish the thought how long it will take us to replace Stevie. Yes I saw the Swansea game too but its one thing getting a result one week, its another doing it 38 weeks in a row. The spirit and soul of this team has now lost its final part and there is no one left to drive this team forward with the same hunger and desire. As little as I'm enjoying this season, losing Stevie and a host of stupid transfers just make me terrified of the one after this and those that follow.

  29. Surely there must be something in all that Hot Air?

  30. Wouldn't it have been great if we could loan Sahin now instead of when we did? He seems tailor made for this incarnation of LFC.

  31. There is clearly no place in this team for Gerrard where he will continue to get to play as regularly as he would like, having an impact on the game the way he wants to. If he plays further up the pitch he struggles with pressing. There is no where on the pitch for him to hide and that's why he's leaving. He's not the kind of player to accept a lesser role in the team and once he came to terms with his reduced ability to make an impact he was simply too proud to stay for the long term.

    It's Rodger's "fault" in so much as Liverpool's style of play doesn't suit an aging Gerrard. In fact it doesn't really suit any older players who can't maintain that kind of high intensity. So yes, Rodgers is responsible for Liverpool playing the kind of football that can't utilise a player like Gerrrard in his declining years. However the notion that the manager should have handled it any other way is totally ridiculous. Liverpool played football last season that was out of this world. They were simply brilliant and Gerrard played every game. Rodgers had Liverpool playing the best attacking football seen at the club for over 20 years, producing their best league result since last winning the title. scoring more goals than ever.

  32. hahahaha I think I just dribbled a bit then .... hang on! I'm sure I just heard Brendans voice

  33. I love Gerrard just like every other LFC supporter does and I respect his decision no matter why he's made it, he deserves that from all of us.
    We've got to have some big characters stepping forward now or at the start of next season or it's all going to come crashing down.
    Honestly, who else is there at the club that we all look at think "there's our next leader and captain"?
    I'm by no means suggesting he is our next leader and captain, he has too many inconsistent periods out the team through form or injury and just doesn't quite seem "captainy", but I hope we don't get rid of Lucas this Jan or next summer. He seems to me to be important to the team off the pitch and I think we're going to need that.
    For me, he's the only player, other than Gerrard, who I really think of with any credible experience of the expectation of the club and fans. He's been at the club for a long time and gone through enough individual lows and highs with the fans to earn the majority of our respect and I think that experience could be quite important for the morale of the team next August. I could say I think of him as next most "Mr Liverpool" in our squad.

  34. Swap Gerrard and Can around. Manquillo's pace to cover on the outside and find Gerrards long passes and Henderson and Can's work rate and pressing in front of him. Does sound like it could work, it's not like Gerrard has lost that much pace that he's slower than Toure/Skrtel/Sakho, why not I say. Robbie Savage might have something there (not something I thought I'd ever write!!)

  35. Going to be weird when Gerrard is not at the club next season. YNWA Stevie.

  36. Gerrard has always had to carry LFC. Got us out of the sh!te time after time.