Steven Gerrard has been terrific this season for Liverpool and has been very important to the England system for the World Cup. Gerrard turned 34 this year and so will be 36 by the time the next international competition (Euro 2016) comes around and so there is debate over whether the England and Liverpool skipper should continue his international career.
Although age plays an important part in a player's performance Andrea Pirlo shows that it is possible to still perform at the highest level even at 35 years old. However, it must be noted that parts of Gerrard's game must be adapted so that he would still be effective in the modern game. For example, his positioning must be improved so that less energy is used and so the lack of speed and agility does not get exploited by the opposition.
With the recent England system it is possible for Steven Gerrard to still play a vital role as long as his defensive midfielder partner works well with him. If the Italian national team is looked at you can see that De Rossi, Motta and Marchisio are used to take some of the pressure off Pirlo so that he is free to dictate play as he does best.
However, there is a problem with the young talent that is emerging, they are predominately attacking players. Although there is exciting talent with Nathaniel Chalobah and Will Hughes they do not have the necessary experience of playing top flight football which is needed in order to claim a place in the squad. Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere are both great players but are not disciplined defensive players therefore there are questions over whether these two would create an effective partnership.
The fact that England would lose their captain must also be taken into consideration as Gerrard has proved a great captain for the side and has helped develop the promising young talent and help protect players from the intense media pressure that is often experienced in English football. Especially with the disappointing World Cup performance this is an attribute that will be very much needed. Also who would the replacement as captain?
Gary Cahill has proven himself a leader from the back but is not captain at club level, Phil Jagielka is Everton captain but is under scrutiny over whether he deserves a first team place. Jordan Henderson captained the Under-21 team but is not experienced enough yet and is not captain at club level whilst Wayne Rooney's attitude has been inconsistent and is yet to prove capable enough to lead a team.
Gerrard has proven himself to still be a top class player for club and country and as long as he adapts his game well it is possible for him to continue his international career.
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