Brendan Rodgers explains why he changed Steven Gerrard’s role in the Liverpool side
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed he planned to use Steven Gerrard in a deep-lying midfield role as soon as he was appointed at Anfield in order to prolong the midfielder’s career.
The 33-year-old’s ageing legs are no longer able to produce the surging box to box runs that were previously his trademark and he has adapted well to a less physically demanding role in front of the back four.
Blessed with an outstanding passing ability, Gerrard, who will lead England’s World Cup squad in Brazil, is capable of pulling the strings and his form helped the Merseysiders to second place in the Premier League.
Rodgers’ decision to field his captain in a role that he had not been deployed in before was quickly heralded as a success and he is adamant it has not been a fluke as it was his intention from day one, despite only first fielding Gerrard in the position in the second half of this season.
“I sat with Steven when I first came in, two years ago.
“And I said that this was my vision for him prolonging his career. I felt he had the real quality to play in that role. After that, it was only about timing really.
“It was about when we put him in that position. And probably halfway through the season, once I had the players fit that could move and work around him, we changed him and from then he’s been outstanding.
“Steven’s a really intelligent player. He’s played really as a more attacking player all his life, but he’s dropped back into that role. It’s still a playmaking position, and he’s started off a number of our attacks from there.
“And for him to finish the season like he did was incredible. He goes into the World Cup in great form, and he will be strong next year as well I am sure,” he told the club’s official website.