Steven Gerrard, a man who has been one of Liverpool’s key players for the past decade, is finally back in the first team. After six months out due to injury, Gerrard recently made his return as a substitute in the League Cup clash with Brighton & Hove Albion, before further encouraging cameo appearances against Wolves and Everton.
There is no doubt that his return is a huge boost to Liverpool FC. However, it does throw up some intriguing questions. Where will he play? Who will make way for him? Since Kenny Dalglish’s return to Anfield as manager, Gerrard has been available for eight times, and now the boss has some decisions to make.
In recent years, Gerrard was a fixture in the team playing off the front man, for many years supporting Fernando Torres. This was part of a 4-2-3-1 formation that Rafa Benitez stuck to almost religiously. Nowadays, Liverpool are much more tactically versatile, and have much greater strength in depth. Towards the back end of last season, and at the beginning of this, the Reds have been playing 4-4-2, with Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam occupying the centre of midfield, where Gerrard is most likely to fit in.
Lucas is the more established player, and perhaps compliments Gerrard’s style of play better. He also has much more experience playing alongside him, so it may be that at first the Liverpool skipper is brought in at the expense of Adam. Another possible option would be to take out one of the strikers, and have Gerrard playing just behind one man up front. At the moment, Luis Suarez is in ‘un-droppable’ form, which would mean that Andy Carroll would be demoted to the bench.