Frank Lampard is one, Michael Carrick is another and then there's Steven Gerrard. Now, I think Steven Gerrard used to be a great midfielder, a very effective box to box midfielder who defended well, had an excellent passing range, a good long shot and an ability to score goals. He's still a good midfielder but he isn't top class anymore. Nowhere near.
He's had injury problems which have probably affected him and he's getting on a bit now so it's understandable. But can we, as a nation, please stop hailing him as some sort of super midfielder of world class ability? Everyone seems to follow this myth that Gerrard is still the player he was. I used to love watching him a few years ago but nowadays he isn't the same player. It's time to move on. Stop living in the past and look at the present and to the future.
I hear people in the media; journalists, pundits and presenters talk about him like he's God and up there with the best in the world. They just blindly rate him as a great midfielder, in denial that he has declined as a player with age and injury problems. Just accept it. And I beg of fans to make your own mind up, please don't just think that because pundits and papers say Gerrard is still the bees knees that it's the truth and you have to have the same opinion. I think far too many fans in this country haven't got the indepedance to have their own opinion. Perhaps its a lack of confidence in their football knowledge, perhaps they actually think the likes of Alan Hansen are 'experts'. But just watch Steven Gerrard next time you see him, and the time after that and analyse him, see if you would class what he plays like now as world class ability or the ability he showed 5 or so years ago.
He's a good player, yes. But my point is don't form your opinion on him based on his past glories and nationality. I think a big part of the myth that he's still top notch is the fact that he's from England. If he was from Croatia or something perhaps more people would recognise the truth rather than taking part in this stubborn, lazy consensus that Steven Gerrard is still a top quality player and a potential England national team saviour or hero. In addition to this, when has he ever played well for England? Has he ever had a good tournament? No. He's always disappointed and never really played to his potential, like Frank Lampard. Players like those two have to take a big chunk of responsibility for the embarassment that was failing to qualify for Euro 2008.
I've seen him play quite a lot this season and not once have I seen him have a great game where I think 'blimey, Gerrard's dominating the midfield' or 'Gerrard's looking unstoppable'. Him and the rest of the Liverpool midfield were torn apart by Arsenal's midfield back in August, and he was at fault for our first goal. He was just decent at Everton and every other time I've seen him he's been hovering around the 'playing decent' marker.
In conclusion I am of the opinion that too many people in this country blindly rate Gerrard as the player he once was but isn't anymore still. I also think too many people rate him on his past qualities and nationality.