Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has hit back at critics arguing that his career is over, saying "he can still play" in reaction to his fairly slow start to the season.
The 34-year-old has been one of, if not, the greatest servant at Anfield. Gerrard has stuck with Liverpool through thick and thin, putting in match winning performances throughout his 15 year career on Merseyside and netting some superb goals.
However, after an uncharacteristic start to the season, many have questioned if the Whiston native can still perform consistently at the top level.
Talking with his feet
Gerrard let his feet do the talking and scored Liverpool's only goal during the 1-1 draw with local rivals, Everton. It was a classic strike from the number eight, curling his free kick in from 20 yards out to give his side the lead.
Despite being under pressure lately, it was perfect response to many who have been in doubt of his ability.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, he said: "I’ll agree with the constructive criticism as far as I have been stifled in a couple of games when players have followed me about and I’ve found it difficult to shake them off.
“But then people go one step further and say you’ve finished and you can’t run any more and you’re done, and that’s the frustrating thing.
“It was nice to remind people that although I am 34 I can still run, I can still play and I can still compete with the best players around.”
“You get a feeling when you get a free-kick. Mario (Balotelli) got a feeling during the first half and he hit one that nearly came off.
“But you need to have options in your team when it comes down to set-pieces and when I saw us get the foul where it was, I fancied it and thankfully I got the strike right.
“We deserved three points. Phil Jagielka has got them out of jail with an absolute wonder strike, the type of strike you hit once in your career.
“Credit to him for the strike. But I think on the 90 minutes and the chances created, we’re disappointed not to take three points.”
During the 2014/15 season, the Reds skipper has been playing a deeper role than usual.
Gerrard adopted the role of playing defensive midfield last campign and although he started slowly in the role, he found his feet and his role became key for his side to be successful and aided the Reds to finish second in the top flight.
This season however, the former England Captain has saw himself again play a position even further back. Gerrard has been picking the ball up practically playing a centre-back role and it has not allowed him to impact the game.
The deeper role allows the opposition strikers to get tight on him and put a lot of pressure on Gerrard which forces mistakes.
Against Everton, Gerrard played further forward and he had a much better game. He could create Liverpool attacks easier due to the time and space on the ball, and the veteran did just that, hitting some outstanding long balls.
It also allowed him to get stuck into the Toffees' midfield and quickly win the ball back for his side and he was also there to help out his defence when the away side were on the attack.
Champions League trip
The Reds now travel to Switzerland to meet FC Basel on Wednesday in a must win Champions League tie.
It seems that Real Madrid will likely top Group B, and that the race for second place will be between Liverpool and the Swiss champions.
Liverpool will be relying on Gerrard's European experience in the tie.
Going away in Europe is something that most in the Liverpool squad have not experienced, especially at the top level.
Gerrard has been there, done that having won at grounds like the Nou Camp and the Santiago Bernabeu is his career, along with lifting the trophy in 2005.
His side will be in desperate need of their captain to set a high standard and he may have to carry one of two of his team-mates if they fail to adopt to the different style of play.
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