Football

Is Gerrard the best ever?

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Gerrard will play out the rest of his days at Anfield. (©GettyImages)
Gerrard will play out the rest of his days at Anfield. (©GettyImages).

Steven Gerrard enjoyed a week where he returned to the first team fold for Liverpool and fired a supreme penalty to beat England stopper Joe Hart for a 1-0 Carling Cup win against Manchester City.

 

The following day, the Liverpool captain joined Damien Comolli to sign a new contract to see out the remaining years of his Anfield career. Interestingly, part of Gerrard’s new contract means the Liverpool legend will resume a post as club ambassador after he hangs up his boots.

 

During his weekly press conference at Melwood Kenny Dalglish was asked if he agreed with John Aldridge that Gerrard was the best Liverpool player ever.

 

He replied: "I wouldn't disagree.

 

"He's certainly made a huge contribution to the football club. Other people have different opinions, but he wouldn't be far away from being mentioned as the greatest player for Liverpool Football Club.

 

"It's hugely important for us to keep people who've been great servants like those two have been. If they want to be here, we should do what we can to accommodate them."

 

After Istanbul I for one decided that in years to come the Huyton Harrier would go onto take over Kenny Dalglish’s mantle as the greatest Liverpool player of all time.

 

Gerrard may not have won anywhere near the silverware his illustrious predecessors lifted, but his influence is beyond comparison.

 

Has a player carried a team in such fashion? Yes, and that was Diego Maradona who took upon his back the load of the Argentina teams in both 1986 and 1990. El Diego won the Copa Del Mundo in 1986.

With a team that performed crimes against football, he almost repeated the trick in 1990. Despite playing in poor teams the Red talisman has continued to lift Liverpool to unprecedented and unexpected heights.

Quite simply, Steven Gerrard would breeze into the Barcelona team.

 

Career highlights:

 

In November 1999, a nervous and gawky 18 year old Steven George Gerrard replaced Vegard Heggem to make his debut against Blackburn Rovers.

Not much of an impact was made but Gerrard recollects hearing someone on the terraces say: "Who's this skinny little t**t?”

 

Some 18 games later, the Anfield jewel scored his first goal against Sheffield Wednesday.

 

Liverpool v Olympiakos - December 2004

 

Against Olympiakos in 2005, Gerrard scored the decisive winner to ensure his teams passage to the next round of matches. Andy Gray described the 25 yard screamer as a 'beauty'.

 

We all know what happened after that...

 

Champions League Final - May 2005

 

3-0 down in the Istanbul final, Rafael Benitez sent on Didi Hamann to stem the AC Milan attack and prevent further embarrassment.

 

The marauding Gerrard took this as his moment to shine, rising above the Milan defence to head home John Arne Riise’s cross.

After Milan Baros had pulled out of the way of Vladimir Smicer’s blaster, Gerrard led the charge for arguably the greatest football comeback to date. Gennaro Gattuso pulled Gerrard down for a penalty that was converted by Xabi Alonso.

 

Liverpool were level, Jerzy Dudek saved from Andrey Shevchenko twice. Game, set and match. Liverpool became European Champions for the fifth time.

 

Liverpool v TNS – July 2005

 

Some 49 days after the miracle of Istanbul Gerrard drove Liverpool to a win against Welsh Champions TNS. Gerrard scored his first hat trick during a 3-0 win for Rafa Benitez’s men.

 

FA Cup Final – May 2006

 

74,000 were at the Millennium Stadium Cardiff for the Gerrard final, witnessing Liverpool beat West Ham on penalties after a magnificent 3-3 draw was played out by both teams.

The highlight of the game saw a limping Gerrard unleash an astonishing and majestic 35 yard net buster past the stranded Shaka Hislop. The strike is now recorded as one of the greatest FA Cup final goals of all time.

 

Liverpool 4-0 Real Madrid – March 2009

 

The high priests of European football were sacrificed at Anfield’s altar. Gerrard scored two as Real were given a royal hammering in the Champions League. The win guaranteed Liverpool’s passage through to the quarter-final of the competition.

 

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool - March 2009

 

Sir Alex Ferguson’s all conquering team were given a sharp kick to the nether regions as Liverpool cruised to a four goal win.

Gerrard scored a penalty to make it 2-1 and peeled away towards the right touchline, beating off congratulatory rugby tackles from his teammates before planting a smacker on the TV camera. An iconic moment indeed.

 

Gerrard 3 – 1 Napoli - November 2010

 

And I was there to watch the Liverpool captain singlehandedly turn a one goal deficit to a three goal home win. Ezequiel Lavezzi had put Napoli in the lead. Gerrard came of the bench at half time and normal service was resumed as the skipper blasted a memorable hat trick.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Steven Gerrard
Liverpool
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