Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers must use Steven Gerrard in a more advanced role if he’s to extend his career and get the best from him, according to former Reds coach Steve Clarke.
The Anfield skipper’s career has been, largely, spent playing in an attacking midfield role, but earlier this year, in a bid to prolong the 34-year-old’s playing days, he was moved back into a holding position.
Although there were some initial teething problems, Gerrard shone in a ‘quarter-back’ berth as Liverpool narrowly missed out on the Premier League title, spraying passes to attacking stars such as Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez.
But this term his displays have been some way off that standard, which has prompted calls for the Merseyside hero to be pushed back up the pitch, with his scoring touch and influence needed during a tough period.
And Clarke – who worked at the club under Kenny Dalglish – believes that doing just that with Gerrard is exactly the right call:
“Gerrard is a top player,” he told talkSPORT. “He is not in the same condition he was ten years ago but he still has the quality to influence a game and the position he played against Leicester, a little bit closer to the striker, is probably the position he enjoys the most and he’ll always score goals from that position.
“He still has the legs to play in that position and I think that’s where he enjoys playing the most.
“Liverpool were a different team last year with [Luis] Suarez and [Daniel] Sturridge up front and they could afford to drop Gerrard a little deeper, but they’ve got a different team now and I think they’ll get more out of him by playing him a bit further forward.”