As Liverpool come to the end of their season with little to show from nine months of hard work you can’t help but feel sorry for their longest standing member Steven Gerrard.
It is likely that on May 24th, the final day of the Premier League season, that Reds supporters will feel it is partly a time to celebrate a man who became a club legend even before his departure, and partly a time to ponder why everything had to end the way it has.
Gerrard joined Liverpool way back in 1987 and unlike many players, he chose to stay loyal to just one club. Even when the Reds were going through difficult times, almost slipping into obscurity, rather than swan off to a big money club for further fame, riches and importantly trophies, Gerrard stayed put.
It is surprising to think that such a talented English player has not and will now never win the Premier League title. Coming so close last season must have been both a blessing and a curse. While we can look back and think perhaps Gerrard should have bowed out on a high last year, it is easy to see why he didn’t. Maybe along with the prospect of playing Champions League football he felt that this could be his year to finally clinch that elusive title.
Unfortunately it seems that everything that could have gone wrong for the midfielder this year has.
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The loss of Luis Suarez and failure to replace him cost Liverpool the chance of making a credible assault on the title. And without next best strike option Daniel Sturridge, who has spent the majority of the season recovering from an injury, Liverpool’s weak domestic start also seeped into their European campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ men only made it as far as the Champions League group stages before being knocked out of the Europa League just two months later.
After so much disappointment, the FA Cup seemed the final opportunity to save their season. With the FA Cup final being Gerrard’s last possible fixture for the club before he surrenders to the MLS, and the fact that the fixture fell on his birthday, set the stage for a proper, fairytale send off.
Having made it to the semi-finals all Liverpool had to do was beat relegation threatened Aston Villa to set up a mouthwatering final with holders Arsenal. But it wasn’t to be.
Gerrard now has just six games left of his 28 year journey with Liverpool, and as it looks unlikely that his team will break into the top four, all that is left to do is to play as best as they can, pick up a few points and try to finish the season as confidently as possible.
How much Gerrard will even feature remains to be seen, as the 34-year-old has played a very restricted role this season. And to think that if only Liverpool had offered him a contract extension before he’d decided to sign for LA Galaxy, then Gerrard would have been playing at Anfield up until retirement as always planned.
Instead, when Liverpool line up against Stoke at the end of May, it will be his last time stepping out in the red shirt and there is sure not be a dry eye left in the away end.