Just a few brief points about our skipper that I think are under reported and often just completely ignored.
1. While I think we can all agree we love Stevie in his advanced role when he’s making runs and pinpoint passes, I think we also need to accept the fact that just because he excels in that role doesn’t mean he should remain there exclusively.
I see him all too often heavily marked to the point that he seems disinterested. The problem here is that while waiting to break down the pitch towards the opponent’s goal, he is far too stationary. Without the defensive responsibilities he was once used to, I think he finds himself wondering just what to do with himself. He is not a natural supporting striker after all, he is one of the best central midfielders in the world being pushed forward due to a lack of quality in forward positions.
With Aquilani I think perhaps we have found the solution to this problem that Rafa has been making the best of. Unlike with Lucas or even Alonso, here our captain will find someone equally willing to lead the charge and do so at a high tempo. I have seen a good bit of our new midfielder in Serie A, and he is nothing if not lightning quick going forward.
This will allow Gerrard to do what he does best. Follow the play, allow the defenders to stretch and over commit themselves and then grab himself a slice of room and slot that laid back pass from touchline into the corner or the roof of the net. When he is not forced to be the centerpiece of the move, he will find many more opportunities to put past the opposition keeper.
It may be hard to imagine, but his goal rate may actually increase.
2. Speaking of increasing his goal rate, does anyone else think we’re insane for having him take our corner kicks? No offense to Steven but they have been poor not just of late but for the past several seasons. This is besides the fact that he is a terrific header of the ball and would serve us far better in the box on set pieces unless he is having a go himself.
Just something that irks me every match.