With Steven Gerrard celebrating his 100th Premier League goal against Newcastle on Saturday, former Liverpool midfielder David Thompson was speaking on 5times.co, reflecting on Gerrard’s career and he points out that the rise to prominence of Stevie is what ended is own Liverpool career.
I had confidence in myself that I might be able to keep him at bay as a threat to my breaking through, but I think he just developed really quickly into a Premier League footballer with his superior pace, power and vision. He was tailor-made for the division and he showed that when he came through. It was disappointing for me because I had been fighting for two or three years to get into the team and I was always looking forward not backwards! This kid came from nowhere, even though I was fully aware of him and I thought: ‘This is out of order this!’ I got shoved out onto the graveyard shift on the right and that was the end of my career then, I was never a right midfielder! In all fairness he was probably the start of my demise before I even got going so as much as I admire him, I actually dislike him at the same time! (laughs)
I started watching Liverpool games religiously at the time Gerrard was breaking into the Liverpool first team. I will never forget watching his first Liverpool goal against Sheffield Wednesday and how classy it was. From then on, I knew we had a special player on our books but I never for one second thought that he would go on to become the Legend he is today.
It is understandable to hear David Thompson’s frustration of being sidelined by Gerrard. Over the years that Gerrard has been in the first team, they have been many central midfielders that have come and gone from the club and all have failed to displace Gerrard.
Even now with Gerrard getting on in age, he is still the first name on Brendan Rodgers’ team sheet. But the day is going to come when Gerrard’s body can not take it anymore and we will need a new Steven Gerrard to emerge. There is no one currently in the Liverpool squad or youth academy that you can see being the “New Gerrard”, hopefully someone will come out and surprise us, or we will have to go out into the market and buy someone. It will be hard, if not impossible to replace Gerrard, so someone new who will make a name for themseleves may have to come through.