Before his acrimonious 38-second red card against Manchester United on Sunday, few could have doubted Steven Gerrard's commitment to the Liverpool cause. And yet, his reckless stamp on Ander Herrera in the second half, which may have jeopardised Liverpool's chances of a top four finish, has prompted a former Reds goalkeeper to claim that the skipper's head is "already in LA".
"Steven Gerrard wanted to stamp his authority on to the match," Bruce Grobbelaar told talkSPORT. "I know that Gerrard’s heart is in Liverpool, and always will be, but his head unfortunately is in Los Angeles.
"He said himself that he takes full responsibility for what his actions were. A lot of other referees would have just given a yellow and warned him to stamp it out because there were some other hefty challenges and some tackles that could've gone either way".
Making a mark on players, rather than on the match
Indeed, it would seem that Gerrard was so keen to leave a mark on the match that he forgot this would have been best achieved through a goal or an assist, rather than a string of robust challenged and off the ball stamp on Herrera's shin.
In the interview, Grobbelaar revealed he believed that although Gerrard's heart will always belong to the Reds, the emblematic midfielder wasn't fully focused on the match and is already looking ahead to the next step of his career.
The American outfit announced in January that the Merseyside legend would be plying his trade in LA next season amid continued confusion over his future at Anfield. His Liverpool contract expires at the end of the season, and after his infamous slip against Chelsea last season looked to have cost them the Premier League title.
It would seem that Gerrard will leave Anfield on a bitter note as his red-card could potentially have cost his boyhood club a place in next season's Champions League. He will miss the trip to Arsenal and the visit of Hull City in the Premier League, as well as the FA Cup quarter-final replay at Blackburn Rovers sandwiched between them.