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shaunstrudwick

negativity towards Steven Gerrard?

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I've said it before but sometimes you're greatest strength can be your greatest weakness.

 

When Gerrard is playing well he lifts the team to a level at which we can compete with anybody. When he plays poorly the effect is to drag us down to mediocrity because everybody looks to him, everything goes through him, he takes virtually every set-piece and the fluency of our game just collapses in the attacking third.

 

This dependency on him is in my opinion a major factor in us not putting in a title challenge until last season because his biggest weaknesses as a player are his inconsistency and his relatively poor injury record. You'll get 20 great performances from him over a league campaign when you'd probably be better off with 30 very good performances. This is partly why we've done better in Europe than at home.

 

Last season I thought he'd managed to find a new level of consistency and he nearly took us to the title. This season he has been consistently poor (by his standards) and the team performances are there to be seen. I know there are reasons why he's played poorly so I'm not pointing a finger of blame at him but you can't ignore the impact of having an undroppable, lynch-pin who isn't performing.

 

 

Pretty much Gerrard's only failing is his inability to recognise when he's playing football like Begbie played pool. If nothing else, he should give someone else the opportunity to hit the free kicks and corners because his occasional success is outweighed by the poor quality of his delivery in general.

 

For corners in particular, it's only when I watch other PL teams that I remember 50% of a side's corners failing to clear the first man is not normal.

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Pretty much Gerrard's only failing is his inability to recognise when he's playing football like Begbie played pool.

 

Wicked comparison. Does he lie to people about it in a bar afterwards and then hurl a pint pot off a balcony?

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He wasn't getting frustrated with the same players last season when they helped us finish second was he.

Of the players mentioned only Masch really played regularly Lucas was a squad member and El Zhar and Aurelio were bit parts in midfield so you can't draw the comparison there.

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I've said it before but sometimes you're greatest strength can be your greatest weakness.

 

When Gerrard is playing well he lifts the team to a level at which we can compete with anybody. When he plays poorly the effect is to drag us down to mediocrity because everybody looks to him, everything goes through him, he takes virtually every set-piece and the fluency of our game just collapses in the attacking third.

 

This dependency on him is in my opinion a major factor in us not putting in a title challenge until last season because his biggest weaknesses as a player are his inconsistency and his relatively poor injury record. You'll get 20 great performances from him over a league campaign when you'd probably be better off with 30 very good performances. This is partly why we've done better in Europe than at home.

 

Last season I thought he'd managed to find a new level of consistency and he nearly took us to the title. This season he has been consistently poor (by his standards) and the team performances are there to be seen. I know there are reasons why he's played poorly so I'm not pointing a finger of blame at him but you can't ignore the impact of having an undroppable, lynch-pin who isn't performing.

 

Agree with this but shouldn't the manager then be taking the lead and making the change to bring the best out of him and the team? I get the impression that as far as Rafa is concerned both Gerrard and Torres must play even if not fully fit. Probably due to him not having the cover available within the squad. I would still like to know where he sees Acqui. fitting in because it's starting to look like Robbie Keane all over again as far as he is concerned.

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Agree with this but shouldn't the manager then be taking the lead and making the change to bring the best out of him and the team? I get the impression that as far as Rafa is concerned both Gerrard and Torres must play even if not fully fit. Probably due to him not having the cover available within the squad. I would still like to know where he sees Acqui. fitting in because it's starting to look like Robbie Keane all over again as far as he is concerned.

 

I think he wants to play Aquilani where he said he wanted to play him in when he bought him i.e. between the holding midfielder and Gerrard or alongside Gerrard in a more attacking formation. It hasn't happened yet because Rafa thinks Aquilani isn't fit/match fit/ adjusted to the Premiership enough yet to hold down a CM slot and because Rafa has decided we still need to play two holding midfielders because he doesn't yet trust the defence not to revert to conceding two goals every game without the extra protection.

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Of the players mentioned only Masch really played regularly Lucas was a squad member and El Zhar and Aurelio were bit parts in midfield so you can't draw the comparison there.

 

Surely it's a valid comparison considering those players played quite regularly in the run in. Fabio was not a bit part player during that time he played a lot during the run in.

 

Fundamentaly though he trusted those players last year, so what has changed.

 

Playing Devil's Advocate here, but is it not possible some of the squad are losing faith in him as a captain or even fed up with his performances like he maybe with them?

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Rafa's in a short term lose-lose situation with Gerrard. Gerrard needs to play to get back the sharpness and fitness. He is also one of the few people who can turn things around with 10 seconds of brilliance after 85 minutes of producing nothing. But at the moment he is likely to produce nothing as he has not played or trained for an extended period this season.

 

I would do the same as Rafa is doing, stick with Gerrard to get him playing well. I would play him on the right or left, though, and bring Aquilani in, especially as Gerrard/Kuyt as a partnership does not offer much.

 

As far as Gerrard being criticized, I think it's the same as with Rafa. First you figure out "reasonable expectations", then you see if "outside" circumstances have an effect to these expectations, then you criticize or not. I don't think that Rafa or Gerrard should be cut a whole lot of slack because of what they've done before. Both have shown that they are among the very best in the world in their professions, if that has changed for whatever reason, then decisions have to be taken.

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Rafa's in a short term lose-lose situation with Gerrard. Gerrard needs to play to get back the sharpness and fitness. He is also one of the few people who can turn things around with 10 seconds of brilliance after 85 minutes of producing nothing. But at the moment he is likely to produce nothing as he has not played or trained for an extended period this season.

 

I would do the same as Rafa is doing, stick with Gerrard to get him playing well. I would play him on the right or left, though, and bring Aquilani in, especially as Gerrard/Kuyt as a partnership does not offer much.

 

As far as Gerrard being criticized, I think it's the same as with Rafa. First you figure out "reasonable expectations", then you see if "outside" circumstances have an effect to these expectations, then you criticize or not. I don't think that Rafa or Gerrard should be cut a whole lot of slack because of what they've done before. Both have shown that they are among the very best in the world in their professions, if that has changed for whatever reason, then decisions have to be taken.

 

Good post.

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I'm sorry mate, but I disagree. That's exactly what I want our captain and best player to do; he wouldn't deserve to wear the armband if he wasn't chomping at the bit and asking to play because he knows he's still better - even half-fit - than anyone else we've got in attack. It's Rafa's job to say, "Sorry Steven - I'm not picking you".

 

There's no way Rafa has seen him train and is unaware of what his fitness levels are. The bottom line is that Rafa has left us absolutely threadbare up front and he's so desperate that he'll pick him regardless (as he's also done with Torres this season). I can't say I blame him for that, mind you; my problem is that he's got us into this position in the first place.

 

I appreciate what your saying about him chomping at the bit to play etc, which is fine, but if he's not fit he shouldn't be playing because it damages the attacking flow of the team and the drive.

 

I know Gerrard wants us desperately to win the league and other trophies, but in this current situation he is helping nobody by playing at less than 80% capacity. The same goes with Torres, however there is a difference with him he has scored 12 goals in 14 starts, his contribution has far outweighed Gerrard's this season, considering both have been injured.

 

Now I am not including the past where Gerrard has contributed more than most in any team in league nevermind us. But it's all about this season and whether he has been injured or not his application and body language has been poor.

 

Rafa should not picking him if he is not fully fit, and I believe he shouldn't have changed the side from the Spurs game, but if he is being told 'Yes boss I'm fit' then he has to trust the player is telling the truth even though he may have doubts.

 

I'm not so sure Gerrard would handle being told he wasn't playing even if he felt ready very well. So it's potentially no win situation for Rafa on that part.

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I appreciate what your saying about him chomping at the bit to play etc, which is fine, but if he's not fit he shouldn't be playing because it damages the attacking flow of the team and the drive.

 

I know Gerrard wants us desperately to win the league and other trophies, but in this current situation he is helping nobody by playing at less than 80% capacity. The same goes with Torres, however there is a difference with him he has scored 12 goals in 14 starts, his contribution has far outweighed Gerrard's this season, considering both have been injured.

 

Now I am not including the past where Gerrard has contributed more than most in any team in league nevermind us. But it's all about this season and whether he has been injured or not his application and body language has been poor.

 

Rafa should not picking him if he is not fully fit, and I believe he shouldn't have changed the side from the Spurs game, but if he is being told 'Yes boss I'm fit' then he has to trust the player is telling the truth even though he may have doubts.

 

I'm not so sure Gerrard would handle being told he wasn't playing even if he felt ready very well. So it's potentially no win situation for Rafa on that part.

 

That's how I see it. We have to play him back to fitness but the team suffers while we do.

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Yup - but can you imagine it?

 

I can indeed.

 

Tales of woe and billions of threads on how we shouldn't be playing our best players in the reserves as it hinders the youth players progressing.

 

Another no win situation.

 

If the Reserve league had a better set up where it's 30 or more games a season then it wouldn't be a problem I don't think.

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I can't really see any negatives with having a player like Gerrard in the team. If anything he deserves better players around him.

 

I'd agree to a certain extent, but you're ignoring the fact that Gerrard is a brooding sulking type player who when does these things, has a bad effect on the rest of the team.

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Wicked comparison. Does he lie to people about it in a bar afterwards and then hurl a pint pot off a balcony?

 

 

My legal team have advised me not to answer this.

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I can just imagine the papers, radio, tv pundits, fans, gerrard himself reacting to rafa not playing him during the 6 months leading to a world cup. Not to mention the backlash when England don't win.

 

The Daily Mail would blame him for Di's death then try and get him sent home because he's one of those dirty foreign types.

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