No place for Gerrard in the current Liverpool squad

Ok, so the headline may be a tad dramatic, as headlines tend to be, but much of the chatter surrounding Merseyside yesterday was the long awaited return of Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard but I’m struggling to see exactly where he would fit in.

 Now, we all know that Gerrard has been heralded as the saviour and Talisman for the Reds for many years and that hasn’t changed despite his injury plagued few months. But, having him out of the side has enabled the Liverpool midfield to shine, none more so than the dynamic trio of Jordan Henderson, Stuart Downing and Charlie Adam. 

However, Gerrard will inevitably reclaim his spot in central midfield which means one of the others who have been performing superbly by my reckoning would have to give way, my only concern is that the person to do so will be Charlie Adam. 

Since joining the Reds from Blackpool in the summer, Charlie Adam has been in marvellous form, breaking forward with a barrage of shots, set pieces, long range passes and all round play that Gerarrd himself would be proud of. In fact, at times Adam has looked very Gerrard-esque as he pings the ball this way and that. No one questions Adams performances since the start of the season, it’s certainly not form that should see him warming the bench, return of the prodigal son or not.

The only problem is  the remarkable similarity between the duo, Gerrard and Adam will probably not play together most of the time. An unwritten rule in football is that your central midfield pairing should not have a similar style of play, as it just doesn’t ever seem to work, just ask any England fan that has had the misfortune to look on as the skipper and Frank Lampard have inexplicably never been able to play well together. 

Both Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard could be the same man, loving to burst forward and terrorise the oppositions defences. To have both marshalling the midfield would also be a dangerous move on Kenny Dalglish’s part. To have them both bursting forward will leave an obvious area and gap for the opposing team to attack. Of course, you could ask Adam to be more defensive, a role he undertook for Blackpool at times, but it is more likely that Lucas will be ask to play the defensive midfield role, as a player who has really come into his own taking up that position. 

Obviously, it won’t be an immediate issue as Gerrard would have to be broken into the side gently as he looks to gain match fitness, but it will be interesting to see what tactic Dalglish will attempt. 

Don’t misunderstand this article as something that is even suggesting that Gerrard should not play, that couldn’t be further from the truth. I, along with any other Liverpool fan, will be delighted to see the sight of the Liverpool skipper marshalling the midfielder once more, it’s been a while, but I hope that his return does not unsettle the effective equilibrium currently in the middle of the park or come at the cost of a place to Charlie Adam. 

Only time will tell as to how the seemingly crowded midfield will work out….

Martyn Edwards

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