The Gerrard Conundrum
It is arguable that of the ‘golden generation’ of players who were meant to finally bring some glory back to English football, it is Steven Gerrard who has most consistently underperformed for his country.
You only have to look at his performances for Liverpool at the highest level to know what he is capable of. At Anfield he leads by examples, scores brilliant goals and can grab a game by the scruff of the neck, single-handedly changing it’s outcome.
We’ve never seen that same player for England. Those who specialize in World Cup Tips believe that this is partly because of Gerrard being continually played out of position, though nobody really knows what that position is.
When Gerrrad first broke into the Liverpool and England teams, it was as a defensive midfielder. You’d have to be very brave to play him in the ‘Makalele role’ now.
These days you wouldn’t trust Gerrard to play as one of a two man central midfield, because you know that he will just run into the positions where he thinks that he can affect the game. The same has been true when he’s played on the wide right or the left of England’s midfield during World Cup 2010.
Word is that Gerrard wanted to play just behind Wayne Rooney at this World Cup. It makes perfect sense, but he hasn’t always been so keen on the position.
Those with even moderate powers of memory might recall him being played as a second striker under Steve McClaren, but he was reputedly unhappy at the time, because ironically he wanted to play in the heart of the midfield where he’d be most involved.
What seems obvious now is that there is really no point in playing Gerrard for England unless it’s in that position just off Rooney. Having been given the freedom of Anfield for so long, he just doesn’t have the discipline to follow instructions.