In a recent interview with Michael Owen, the former Liverpool striker who went on to play for Manchester United made a bold claim regarding Reds icon Steve Gerrard.
The former striker claimed Liverpool’s owners and front office wanted to sell Gerrard two years before the midfielder ultimately left the club in 2015. Owen’s comment comes as he drums up interest in his upcoming autobiography, Reboot. Which should say enough for Liverpool supporters.
His claims may be difficult for some Reds fans to believe. However, looking at Gerrard’s numbers toward the end of his career, it may not be so far-fetched.
Steven Gerrard’s final years at Anfield
Gerrard’s best season in terms of goals and assists at Liverpool came in 2008-09. Playing alongside the likes Fernando Torres, Xabi Alonso, and Javier Mascherano, Gerrard scored 24 goals and notched 13 assists in all competitions.
To say Gerrard wasn’t influential or capable of scoring goals and tallying assists as he aged would be foolish. He notched double-digit goals in 2012-13 (10 goals, 11 assists) and 2013-14 (14 goals, 16 assists).
The club may have wanted to move on from Gerrard, as Owen believes, but Gerrard was still doing well.
I can understand if Liverpool and the front office wanted to sell Gerrard in 2013 or 2014. He had been in the first team since 1998. Gerrard was 35-years old when he left Liverpool for Los Angeles Galaxy and his age would have made Liverpool’s top brass interested in parting ways with him before he actually left.
Perhaps Owen’s comments weren’t too wrong, but at the same time, Gerrard meant a lot to the club — far more than Owen ever did. That is why it feels like Liverpool were happy to keep the veteran midfielder around to continue their transition under Brendan Rodgers.
I recently watched Make Us Dream via Amazon Prime. One of Gerrard’s quotes stuck out to me at the very beginning. He stated he joined Los Angeles Galaxy as a way to “get away” from England following the 2014-15 season.
Going to MLS was certainly one way to get away from the miserable end to that term. Whether Gerrard’s heart was in it during his time in La-La Land is up for debate. Ask Galaxy fans and they will say ‘no’ as Gerrard was regularly jetting back to the United Kingdom to appear as a pundit on television.
Statistics show something else as Gerrard, who played just one full season in the States, scored three goals and tallied 11 assists in 21 MLS matches. In 39 career games with the Galaxy, Gerrard tallied five goals and 15 assists. It was good but the team was bad.
A return to Anfield
Gerrard is most likely the man who will take over for Jurgen Klopp at Anfield. Klopp has intimated he will take time off after his Liverpool contract expires in 2022. It seems logical that Gerrard will take over especially having had extensive experience at Rangers. Unlike Frank Lampard who jumped at the Chelsea job without having had enough time to learn the role, Gerrard will have had, theoretically, four seasons in charge of Rangers.
Owen ‘s comments about Gerrard seem silly and should be taken for what they were, a way to drum up interest in a book few will care about. Will many Liverpool supporters buy his new book? I won’t be one of them. “Where were you in Istanbul?”