The Problem With Steven Gerrard

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More reader submissions as COS reader Greg reckons Steven Gerrard’s biggest strengths are also currently his biggest weaknesses.

That Steven Gerrard’s brilliant. He’s probably got the most powerful and accurate shot in the Premiership, he can run all day, he can tackle, dribble, cross. And he can hit a 50 yard pass with his eyes shut.

But sometimes it looks like that’s exactly what he’s doing. Gerrard’s got so much confidence in his long range passing ability that he’s always trying the million dollar (or 522,491 pounds and 80 pence) ball. When it comes off it’s incredible, but I’m not convinced the ratio makes it worthwhile. There was a perfect example in Liverpool’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal yesterday.

Gerrard looked up from his own half and tried to ping a long ball through half the Arsenal team, it bounced off a red and white midfielder and back to Gerrard. And he tried again. On the half-volley. And it hit another Arsenal midfielder. He didn’t get a third chance.

The lad does this too often to be really and truly world-class. World-class players are clever and careful in possession, whereas Gerrard gives it away too easy. This isn’t about talent or technique, it’s about decisions. Making the right choice, not the spectacular one.

Similarly, his frequent forays forward usually leave massive holes in Liverpool’s midfield, which may explain both Rafa Benitez’s and McClaren’s insistence on playing Gerrard wide right. If he could learn to be a bit calmer, a bit more mature, and (this is the important bit) learn to dictate the pace of a game with his passing rather than smacking the glory ball every time, then he could finally be the man to take both Liverpool and England to the next level.

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