A mere matter of days ago Steven Gerrard spoke of his desire to end his Liverpool career on a high, by helping them land a top-four spot and winning the FA Cup.
As has become a running theme in the Liverpool skipper’s final days on Merseyside, his manager Brendan Rodgers has come running up behind him, grinning like one of the helpers in an ice-bucket challenge video, to pour cold water on the idea.
With Gerrard back fit following a hamstring injury, Rodgers has made it clear that he won’t be fast-tracking the former England stalwart into the starting XI on any sentimental basis:
“I am not one who makes emotional decisions on whether I like someone or not. For me, it is about finding the right balance in a team,” Rodgers said before the 1/1-rated Reds travel to Swansea.
Unfortunately for Gerrard, that balance has been found quite adequately in his absence. Liverpool have won five of their seven outings since their captain’s last appearance against Tottenham in February.
All three of their top-flight assignments since the midfielder’s injury have produced wins, as the club march obstinately towards a place in the top-four; rated a 13/10 shot with Ladbrokes.
The side’s form, combined with Rodgers’ nostalgia hatred, looks worrying for the 114-cap international should the side reach the FA Cup final later this season.
Playing at Wembley, on his birthday no less, has long been earmarked as the perfect send-off for one of Liverpool’s longest serving players.
Not only do the club have to reach the final, with Blackburn and Aston Villa standing in their way, but Rodgers’ words now mean such a fairytale is far from guaranteed anyway.
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