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Gerrard: Criticism of boss makes me sick - and why I'll play anywhere

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By Chris Bascombe, Liverpool Echo

 

 

ANYONE expecting sirens, screams of panic or declarations of a state of emergency must be sorely disappointed when they arrive at Anfield.

 

There remains an air of calm in the red half of the city, yet if you venture a few miles either side of Liverpool's boundaries there are legions prepared to work themselves into a peculiar frenzy on the club's behalf.

 

Steven Gerrard isn't sure whether to be bemused or insulted by the latest over reactions.

 

Since flying flak has been the prelude to two major trophy victories in two seasons, the skipper sounds almost sympathetic to those who have failed to learn the lessons of the Benitez era.

 

"Anyone who questions the tactics of Rafa Benitez must be crazy," says Gerrard, utterly unimpressed by the misguided souls claiming to be speaking on his behalf when they question what role he's playing.

 

"Rafa's already achieved so much in two years and all the players and supporters have total belief in him.

 

 

"I get sick of it when, if there's a bad result, everyone is talking about where I've played.

 

 

"Under Rafa I've been used to playing in different positions, and there's no point people going on about it every chance they get.

 

 

"I'm the first to admit I was as surprised as anyone when I was picked to play on the left on Sunday.

 

 

"I had to check the team sheet, but there were tactical reasons for that which nearly paid off.

 

 

"If I'd have taken my chance, as Ishould have done, it would have been because I was on the left against a defender who was having such a tough time he was subbed.

 

 

"If we'd have equalised then, people would have been saying it was a master-stroke by the manager to play me against Boulahrouz. These are the fine lines we're dealing with in football.

 

 

"I know under Rafa I'll continue to play in different positions, but that's because he thinks I'm a good player who can do a number of jobs.

 

 

"There will be times when I'm back in the middle and everyone knows that's where I prefer to be be, but the most important thing for me is always to see the team win, wherever I am."

 

 

Since the end of last season, there have been eerie echoes of 2002.

 

 

Back then, Liverpool ended the campaign on a high, were seen as the most likely title challengers, and invested heavily on the players they hoped would seal the deal. It went horribly wrong as the final step towards an elusive 19th title tripped them up again.

 

 

The similarities in circumstances cannot be ignored, but Gerrard is adamant there is a major difference between then and now.

 

 

"The players we've brought in this summer are all top class," he says. "Maybe there have been times in the past we've made signings who couldn't hack it at a club the size of Liverpool. I can tell you now that's definitely not the case this time. Players like Kuyt, Bellamy, Pennant, Aurelio, Agger and Gonzalez are quality players.

 

 

"I've seen enough of them in just a couple of months to see that.

 

 

"Nowadays if a manager spends big money on a player, people expect immediate goals or man-of-the-match performances. It doesn't always work like that. You need to settle and adjust.

 

 

"Liverpool tactics and systems aren't the same as what these players are used to at other clubs.

 

 

"The main thing is have they got the quality and will they improve us? We've seen enough alreadyto see the answeris yes. That's whywe knowwe're going to be a better team this season. We 've just got to be a bit more patient."

 

 

What's needed most is a win. A victory to create momentum, justify the continued self-belief and keep the doubters at bay for at least another month, or preferably eight months.

 

 

"Confidence comes from winning games, but we haven't lost our belief in the dressing room," says Gerrard. "Of course we want to win and put on a good performance tonight, but it would be wrong to say we're desperate to get three points.

 

 

"It'snot a desperate situation. We'regoing into this just like any other home game, knowing the pressure is on us to play well and win the game, as it always is.

 

 

"If that happens, things will already start to look better, but the last thing we want is everyone getting anxious already. It's far too early for that, and I think a lot of it stems from things which have been said and written making out we're already playing 'must-win' games. We're not.

 

 

"We're playing very important games, but there's no need to start panicking.

 

 

"As a captain, I actuallyfind it easier to do what's expected of me after a defeat because you know the lads are hurt and want to react in the right way. You don't really need to say much to them, because everyone is determined to put it right.

 

 

"Sometimes it's harder to get through to players when things are going well, because the focus can go a bit more if you think everything is going well."

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Nice to see he's learnt how to behave like a captain, now he just has to do it on the pitch

 

He has Captained us to a Champions League and an FA Cup victory!

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give it a break.

 

go get a life mate

 

I was being complimentry to him and in my opinion I dont think he would have come out with such statements in the CL winning season which means he has grown up as a captain and a person which is good to see

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go get a life mate

 

I was being complimentry to him and in my opinion I dont think he would have come out with such statements in the CL winning season which means he has grown up as a captain and a person which is good to see

 

Gerrard is commenting on the dead-heads like you who think they know better than the manager after a couple of poor performances, but TRUST IN RAFA.

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go get a life mate

 

I was being complimentry to him and in my opinion I dont think he would have come out with such statements in the CL winning season which means he has grown up as a captain and a person which is good to see

 

Yes but you did that old trick of following a complement with a put down. I think thats what he is on about.

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Guest hyypiagirl

IT'S NOT GERRARD WE HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT HE'S ALWAYS GOOD IT'S THE ONES WHO CAN'T FINISH THE BALL IN THE NET OUR STRIKERS!!!!

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Guest liv8neza

True, Steven can score goals and he proved that, but why do we have strikers than for? It is their job to score goals or not?!

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Guest hyypiagirl
True, Steven can score goals and he proved that, but why do we have strikers than for? It is their job to score goals or not?!

Exactly my point !! The Everton Derby 's defeat has brought changes to our team which aren't neccasseraly good changes. The players who were engaged in international matches the week prior to the Goodison Derby were tired and it was during that match that they should have been rested not after. Travelling and playing international matches takes it out of a player and effects their performance for sure.Steven Gerrard is one of the players Sami Hyypia is another. I hate it when our players have to play internationally. We are still suffering from Euro 2008 qualifying matches..

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