But all good things must end and so too will the illustrious career of Liverpool’s captain. Unfortunately that end is approaching quicker than most fans would like to admit so it becomes necessary to look at the club without him.
In a recent statement following the FA Cup defeat to Oldham, manager Brendan Rodgers highlighted his belief that Liverpool have been too reliant on their captain.
It seems that playing every minute of every league game this season is starting to wear on the skipper with him looking out of place and out of gas at times in the second half against Arsenal.
And who can blame him?
Gerrard is thirty-two now and surely does not have the stamina that he possessed in his younger years. It’s important for Liverpool to start to groom a successor. However, I’m not sure someone can fill the shoes of the captain solely on their own. Instead it may have to be replacement by committee.
As its uncertain which players will be with the team in the future, one has to look at the current squad now. Upon doing so there are some signs of encouragement. Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey, two young players with great potential that still have their better years ahead of them. Although neither can be argued to be on the same plane as Steven Gerrard an argument can be made for what lies ahead for these two midfielders.
Henderson and Shelvey are both young British talents that have experience captaining the England youth sides, showing that they each possess leadership; one of Gerrard’s greatest qualities. The midfielders have also exhibited great energy, another one of Steven Gerrard’s most redeeming characteristics. These are things that cannot be taught, one has to be born with them. And although these budding players may not possess the passing, shooting, or organizational ability of Liverpool’s captain, the good news is that they can learn these skills.
Both of these players have shown promise; a glimpse of the potential that is waiting to be tapped. Now time is all they need. Given time, these players can mature into the successful and talented players that they have showed signs of. They can emerge as the future of Liverpool, ready to carry the torch when Liverpool’s beloved captain has finally hung up his boots.
It is unclear how many more years Steven Gerrard has left, some arguing for two, three at the most. It remains imperative that Henderson and Shelvey learn from the captain and soak up as much of his knowledge and character that they are able to. For you see, the futures of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson, and Jonjo Shelvey are all linked together. When one decides to call it quits the others must be ready to fill the void.