With Gerrard-to-Galaxy frenzy in full effect, one little note by the player himself is being somewhat swept under the rug.
Liverpool is cutting the 36-year-old’s time, and that’s not ok with him.
“Yes, if a contract had been put in front of me in pre-season I would have signed it,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “I’d just retired from England to concentrate all my efforts on Liverpool. I didn’t want my club games to be tailored. My injury record had been fantastic for the past two and a half years and I had a great season from a personal point of view last season.”
With talk of Gerrard’s physical decline starting to creep into more than the odd conversation about Liverpool, it has apparently reached the club itself, and manager Brendan Rodgers has addressed it with his captain.
“I’ve got to be honest, that chat with Brendan came earlier than I was expecting,” Gerrard said on chatter of the club reducing his time. “It was about a month ago that he first mentioned to me about managing my game time. We had another chat on the subject recently – 10 days to two weeks ago. It was tough but I understood. It’s been very amicable.
“Everyone knows how much I rate Brendan. Our relationship is very good. There hasn’t been a cross word between us. Brendan has been fantastic for me. My only regret is that I didn’t get to work with him at a younger age. There is no finger pointing from me towards the manager or anyone else at the club.”
It’s no secret Gerrard is slowing. In fact, just a month ago I took to breaking down why Rodgers and Liverpool need to put aside their loyalties to their longtime captain and send Gerrard to the bench.
And it’s now very clear the club shares the view that, while it’s always a difficult subject figuring out exactly how to go about scaling back a club legend on his decline, it was a step that needed to be taken sooner rather than later.
“I’ve never wanted to be a squad player,” Gerrard said emphatically. The club didn’t offer him a contract extension until November, and it was worth about half what he’ll be making in Major League Soccer next season. That alone says all you need to know about Liverpool’s views on where their captain stands physically. And Gerrard knows it too.
“If I was missing games now, I’d be sitting out even more next season,” Gerrard said. “I knew it would get worse and worse as time went on.”
In today’s game, staying with one team your entire career isn’t just rare, it’s nearly impossible, and while Gerrard could have chosen to retire a Liverpool player at the end of the season, he clearly believes he has more playing days in his body. And while Liverpool doesn’t entirely agree, we see why career players are nearly an extinct entity – the two sides don’t always agree.