More reader submissions as COS reader Greg reckons Steven Gerrard’s biggest strengths are also currently his biggest weaknesses.
That Steven Gerrardâ€™s brilliant. Heâ€™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 thatâ€™s exactly what heâ€™s doing. Gerrardâ€™s got so much confidence in his long range passing ability that heâ€™s always trying the million dollar (or 522,491 pounds and 80 pence) ball. When it comes off itâ€™s incredible, but Iâ€™m not convinced the ratio makes it worthwhile. There was a perfect example in Liverpoolâ€™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 didnâ€™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 isnâ€™t about talent or technique, itâ€™s about decisions. Making the right choice, not the spectacular one.
Similarly, his frequent forays forward usually leave massive holes in Liverpoolâ€™s midfield, which may explain both Rafa Benitez’s and McClarenâ€™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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