Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has stated he wants to make the most of his career as he admitted he is “scared” that his career is coming to a close. This then begs the question, at 33, just how successful and worthwhile has Gerrard’s career been?
In a recent interview, he told the media that his initial aim was to simply play as many games as possible for Liverpool. Since then, he has now clocked up 630 appearances for the club he is now almost ingrained within.
During that period of first-team football and long-term leadership, he has experienced a variation of results. The highs are ones that the majority of professional football players could only dream of — a Champions League winners medal in 2005 in a game where he individually really made a powerful difference. On top of that success, Gerrard has two FA Cup and League Cup titles to his name and one UEFA Cup. In comparison to the most successful men in the British game, it’s still some way behind, but Gerrard should be proud.
His club have gone through a difficult period during his time, especially in the Premier League. That may be the one thing that Gerrard regrets the most, however: the failure to, as of yet, achieve domestic league glory. He’s come close, but it seems he feels the pain of failing to get the medal that so many of his rivals have obtained on multiple occasions. Perhaps more of a concern is that Manchester United overtook Liverpool’s record, whilst Gerrard was part of a side which could only look on and watch.
Personally, I feel it is harsh to say Gerrard has underachieved in the Premier League. He is a great example of a rare thing in modern football — a loyal employee who has stuck behind the club who support him, just like the fans do in return. Gerrard has been unfortunate to be amongst a period in English football which has included multiple rises due to financial input, whilst also being part of a Liverpool squad that has never quite had the quality or form in the Premier League to sustain Champions form.
Maybe one thing Gerrard still holds close to him in his final years as a player is the England role. As captain, now he seems to have pride in the task he has been given, even if he sometimes isn’t the best option for England in midfield. His international career has been during one of the most highly pressurized periods in England’s history, from his initial breakthrough he made one of the “golden era” who ultimately failed amongst various controversies and mistakes that commonly were out of his area.
With Brazil 2014 most likely to be his last World Cup, he may feel that what has past is really what his career will be remembered for and that there is little he can truly add to it. But with England, there is this small opportunity for immortal greatness. There is feeling that as captain, he is really at the forefront of what England can achieve, as the case tends to be with England captains. Anyone would admit that England’s chances of World Cup glory are almost zero. But as Gerrard said himself, if that is the case, then there is no point in going.
There is a few years left in his career and he’ll always be considered a Liverpool legend, but with time running out, there is a still chances to please himself and raise his profile in history just a little more.