With Steven Gerrard bidding goodbye to the Anfield fans last Saturday, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said that they now face the tough task of finding a quality replacement for the outgoing midfielder.
“Stevie had a huge influence in the changing room and that will be missed,” Rodgers said during the post-game interview after Saturday’s match. The manager then added that Gerrard’s departure came in a difficult time, with them still nursing the effect of Luis Suarez’s sale to Barcelona last season. He also notes that the team also faced a hard time dealing with Jamie Carragher’s retirement two years back.
However, the 42-year old manager said that those moments were a learning experience for him, as he had to deal with losing valuable player experience going out of the team, said that he expects Gerrard’s departure will also be the same.
Rodgers also looked at his player’s move in a more po9sitive light, saying that they now have the opportunity to look into the rookie pool to find untapped potential. He added that this also serves as an opportunity for his players to step their game.
Midfielder Jordan Henderson agreed to Rodgers’ assessment, adding that it would be very hard for a single player to fill in Gerrard’s shoes, as there are not a lot of players who can offer everything that the 34-year old has to offer. However, he is also that they will be able to rise up to the challenge as a team. Henderson is touted to be the one to occupy the captain position once Gerrard departs.
Meanwhile, Gerrard’s last game at Anfield ended in disappointment, after Crystal Palace beat the Reds 3-1 on Saturday. Adam Lallana opened scoring for Liverpool, but Jason Puncheon managed to pull an equaliser, and the Eagles never looked back, with Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray adding points.
Nevertheless, the crowed emotionally bade goodbye to Gerrard before the match started.