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Premier League title will haunt Steven Gerrard

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So there it is. Steven Gerrard is to leave Liverpool at the end of the season. A glittering spell at Anfield will have its final chapter written and signed off in May. There will be sections on victories in the Champions League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup. But no mention of a Premier League title that has painfully evaded him.

Barring a miracle, Gerrard will leave without the biggest winners medal of them all around his neck. As with every great story comes a tragedy within, one that prompts sympathy and empathy in equal measure. One of the greatest players in the club's history will leave without the luxury of a league winners medal in his possession. 

Luckless Gerrard

Anderson has more Premier League winners medals despite spending the majority of his time in English football watching from afar. Pascal Cygan received one despite being abysmal for Arsenal in 2004. Luke Chadwick, Ronnie Wallwork and Alexei Smertin are others who can somehow, incredulously, point to their medals with pride. 

But not Gerrard. It will be something to haunt him throughout his career, and to be snidely sung about over on the terraces at Manchester United and Everton. He has gone close, to within touching distance, only to miss out. 

Last season was his greatest and last opportunity. A Fernando Torres-inspired season for the Reds under Rafael Benitez in 2009 aside, Luis Suarez's fantastic form should of delivered the title to Anfield.

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Alas, a Gerrard mistake against Chelsea and capitulation against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park saw the trophy end up in the grateful hands of Vincent Kompany at Manchester City instead. 

This term without the maverick Uruguayan in their ranks their form has slid to the point where even European football next term looks optimistic. Whatever happens Gerrard will leave Anfield without the label of a Premier League champion.  

Liverpool legend

Despite missing out on the league title, Gerrard will go down in folklore as one of the best players to ever don the famous red shirt. When in his pomp and prime, when capable of scoring over 20 goals a season, he was different class. Only Paul Scholes, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Frank Lampard come close in the modern era. 

The European triumph of 2005 was his finest hour. After being three down at half-time to AC Milan, the Reds' skipper rose and led the rallying fightback. A header, before further goals from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso, saw them turn the tables to eventually prevail via some Jersey Dudek heroics in a penalty shoot-out. 

His display in the FA Cup final a year later was similarly stunning. As Alan Pardew's West Ham United threatened to prevail at the Millenium Stadium, Gerrard scored two crackers to force a penalty shoot-out. The second, a rasping shot from 30-yards past Shaka Hislop, is still one of the greatest goals in the history in the competition. 

Future decisions

Wherever Gerrard goes next he is likely to be given the same love and affection given to him by the Liverpool faithful. His professionalism, leadership and dedication to the cause will make him a joy for whoever is lucky to manage him next.

It has been some ride for him at Anfield. He has won some big honours, but will rue his failure to win the biggest domestic gong of them all. 

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Topics:
Liverpool
Manchester United
Football
Steven Gerrard

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