Steven Gerrard has insisted that there isn’t a rift between him and Brendan Rodgers.
The Liverpool captain was dropped for their game against Stoke City on Saturday afternoon, which immediately led to rumors that the pair had fallen out.
This was the first time that Gerrard had missed a Premier League game for Liverpool since they played on New Year’s Day. However, the Liverpool icon, who is widely regarded as the best player to have ever played for the club, took to Instagram to insist that the duo haven’t fallen out in the slightest.
Gerrard wrote, “Just to set the record straight, media talk of a fall-out between us two is nonsense.”
Speculation started to whirl because of the timing of Rodgers’ decision to drop Steven Gerrard from the starting line-up. Saturday was the 16th anniversary of the former England star’s debut for Liverpool.
But Rodgers told BBC News after the game that he was completely unaware of such a landmark, and it actually made him feel bad that he had left Gerrard out of the team.
“I wasn’t aware it was 16 years until I walked into the dressing room and saw the programme. I felt quite bad but he’s a wonderful man. He thinks about the team.”
Over the last few months, Steven Gerrard has come in for very heavy criticism because of his performances. Last season, he was seen as one of the main reasons for Liverpool’s surge in form that led them to the brink of the Premier League title.
Unfortunately, he made a costly error in their game against Chelsea that ultimately allowed Manchester City to sneak in and claim the title. Meanwhile, during the World Cup as he played for England, he headed the ball to his Liverpool teammate Luis Suarez, who was playing for Uruguay at the time, who then scored and effectively knocked England out of the competition.
Liverpool have gone on to make a woeful start to the Premier League this season too, and Steven Gerrard has made several errors and looked uncomfortable on the ball and in his role for most of the campaign.
This has led many pundits and soccer experts to assume that at 34 years of age he is now past his best, and with his contract coming to an end in the summer some fans have suggested that he shouldn’t actually be offered a new deal.
If that happens to be the case, there’s still no denying the fact that he has been a fantastic ambassador and player for the club, despite this potential sour end to his time at Anfield.
[Image via Rant Sports]