04 January 2009

LSCM on Steven Gerrard


Most of us have reached the general consensus that Steven Gerrard should know better than to get into an altercation with a club DJ over his preference of music. That was Southport after all.
The majority of us, however, do not believe that the skipper deserved all the flak that has flown his way since last Monday’s regrettable incident.
There are many of us who have not forgiven Gerrard for his attempt to sell Liverpool FC down the Mersey when Chelsea called - not once but twice.
None of us would know the real story behind those transfer transgressions until the main figures behind those two incidents leave the club. Right now, Gerrard is dying for a fight back.
His reaction will help the Reds determine how they would like to end the season. The tone was set by Rafael Benitez when he reportedly called his midfield live wire to assure him of his place in the team.
Benitez’s relationship with Gerrard is a stop-start affair and there are a number of us who believe that he would have sold Gerrard to Chelsea.
There also also many of us who believe that Benitez would welcome the opportunity to peg down Gerrard to a few notches just to trim his ego.
Benitez is too smart a manager to take the second option. He would turn this discomforting episode into a classic “us-against-them” siege mentality special to stave off any more claims that his team are ordinary without Gerrard.
Gerrard’s value to the team is indisputable and, if anything, he can be expected to come out battling for his reputation and the club’s title challenge. He has - contrary to his belief - a lot to prove now to the supporters. It is to Benitez, however, the team, will turn to for leadership and inspiration.
The manager is in his strongest position for the first time since his arrival at Anfield in the summer of 2004 - in relationships with the club’s owners, key officials and team’s idols.
He knows, more than anyone else, that this is a turning point in a campaign to land the dream title and Champions League honours. Gerrard’s bar brawl has unexpectedly provided the team a bigger opportunity to bond and become stronger.
There are no complaints with the team spirit that has been forged under Benitez - there are no superstars or destructive cliques in the dressing room and everyone is answerable and respond
to a single authority.
Benitez has managed to impose his work ethics and style of play on the Reds. Watch the more promising youngsters coming through to the first team - players such as Nabil El-Zhar - and you will seen a distinct stamp. This is Benitez’s Liverpool and the Premiership has been warned.


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