Steven Gerrard has a game that's designed to astound. He'll slowly be cantering around on the field and then suddenly break into a sprint— and then from around 30-35 yards out, he would unleash a bullet.
But of late, the guns have fallen silent.
It is rare that we hear the commentator go: "GERRAAAAAAAAAARRRDD!"
The sudden spurts of pace have been replaced with an uncommon calm -- he now looks for a pass, not the shot. Part of Gerrard's charm or threat was that he was a danger from any part of the field, so the opposition would always need to assign a defender to him.
That helped open up spaces for the other strikers, which in turn led to goals.
Over the course of his career, Gerrard always had quality talent up front in support. Early in his career, he was setting up goals for Michael Owen. When Owen moved to Real Madrid for £8 million in mid-2004 -- the likes of Milan Baros, El Hadji Diouf and Djibril Cisse came in. After them it was Fernando Torres.
But now you watch Liverpool play and you can't help but wonder where the goals will come from. Luis Suarez is a potent threat but he has no support. Andy Carroll is with West Ham. And Fabio Borini has played all of Liverpool's matches this season but he doesn't quite look threatening.
So in this scenario, Liverpool needs Stevie G to step up and start going for goal once again. He doesn't really have a weakness in his game, he can do it all, do the impossibles tackles, make the inspirational runs but somehow he seems to have lost the killer instinct.
In 35 appearances for club and country last season, Gerrard scored just eight goals. In 2010-11, he had 10 goals in 29 appearances. The year before that was 15 goals in 59 appearances. But in 2008-09, he had 25 goals in 51 matches and that is precisely the form that he needs to find again.
Gerrard has been playing for different levels of Liverpool teams since he was eight years old. But he is now 32 -- he can't afford to just fade away. He is the man for the big occasion and is the only man to score goals in the finals of the League Cup, FA Cup, UEFA Cup and the European Cup.
Right now, he seems to be trying to play the game that Paul Scholes plays for United. He is trying to control the game but was that ever his forte? He was someone who could take the game by the scruff of the neck and never ever give up.
Is he still capable of doing that? If you are a Liverpool fan, you better hope he can. It won't take a reminder, but what Gerrard does in the video below is what Liverpool really need.
First Published On : Sep 5, 2012 18:52 IST