Steven Gerrard: Book Him or Rest Him?

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liverpool_20140322cGerrard has rightly been praised for his adaption to a deep-lying central midfielder in the second half of this season, completely reinventing his game and keeping his status as a vital cog in the team.

However, a side effect of that has been that Gerrard has picked up a lot of bookings; his current total is 9 in the league, 7 of those coming since his relocation to a deep-lying midfielder. Unfortunately, that means if he gets 1 more booking before April 13, he will be suspended for his next 2 games.

Before that date, Liverpool have 4 games to play: Sunderland at home, Spurs at home, West Ham away and Man City at home. It’s not the easiest run of games in the world, and if Gerrard got booked against City then he’d miss the following games against Norwich away and Chelsea at home.

So what does Brendan Rodgers do? Rest Gerrard for four games (which I find unlikely) or instruct him to get a tactical booking in one of the four? Or play him in all four and hope he doesn’t pick up a yellow card?

Rodgers could play him against Sunderland; however that is possibly the easiest game on paper, and one that might not need Gerrard in order to win. It would also give Lucas some much-needed game time to come back from his injury should he be needed if Gerrard does pick up a suspension, and give the captain a rest before Spurs a few days later. But it could also be argued that Gerrard should pick up a tactical booking now so that he is definitely available for City. His experience and leadership will prove vital in such a big game.

Spurs could present enough of a challenge that Gerrard should be rested now so he can play then; but we already played them without him once this season and we won 5-0, so maybe his absence won’t be missed.

West Ham away could be tricky. They did roll over to United last week, but Upton Park has not always been a happy hunting ground for us these past few years so I’m wary of an upset. We may need Gerrard’s leadership to push us through that one.

Man City at home is the real decision though. While Gerrard’s experience will indeed be a huge advantage here, as will his penalty and free-kick-taking skills, it could be argued that the reason Gerrard has succeeded in his new position recently is because he hasn’t been pressured on the ball. Lesser teams have given him all the time in the world, but when he is pressed hard, he gets overwhelmed. You can bet that City won’t want to give him any time on the ball whatsoever, so we could end up overwhelmed if he plays. So perhaps we’d be better off playing him earlier and having Lucas start in his place?

It’s a difficult choice, and one that Rodgers won’t make lightly. Let’s just hope he makes the right one.

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Drummer, gamer and football fanatic. I love to write about Liverpool and spend most of my time thinking about the mighty Reds. That or Game of Thrones.


  • pino pino says:

    B4 13th means the deadline has expired or after 13th pls xplain.

    • Josh says:

      The deadline includes the 13th. The deadline for a suspension on 10 bookings is the second sunday of April, which is the 13th this year. We play Man City on April 13, so that match is the final one that he can pick up a suspension.

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