Stevie Gerrard – The Lame Duck

The stamp. The red card. The return of the armband to Jordan Henderson. Steven Gerrard’s career is limping to the finish line and his admirers around the world are turning away to spare him the embarrassment.

Even the media has been respectfully ashamed on his behalf following his ejection from the match against United. Majority of the press’ reactions expressed disbelief rather than disgust or anger.

 

The Los Angeles bound midfielder is in a predicament. He is a living legend of a storied club, but he’s been dropped. How does a dropped captain comport himself? The captaincy has become a burden and an entirely titular label.

Like a young Commodus or Fredo Corleone, Gerrard’s authority can be rendered impotent at any moment. He maintains the title only because he is in the good graces of those who truly hold power.

The team should come first (Gerrard would be the first to agree), but he’s never had to sacrifice himself for the cause by ceding his spot. Up until now, the team coming first was synonymous with his presence in the starting XI. Calling him a “team player” given this fact is a tautology.

If he’s never been dropped, how can you say he places the club’s interests ahead of his own? Gerrard may be thought of as a team player, but this is the first time a serious opportunity to demonstrate the veracity of such a characterisation has presented itself.

Similarly, Roger Federer is known for being great with fans–always taking time to sign autographs and take photos. Do note that he is empirically the uncontested fan favourite. He has won the ATP Fan Favorite award every year since 2003. The crowd pulls for him in every country and at every tournament.

It’s almost embarrassing to see the crowd’s vocal support of Federer even when he is slaughtering a qualifier. The greatest testament to his unprecedented popularity is the support he receives from the notoriously patriotic French fans at the French Open, even when he plays against French players. For no one else would the French show such respect.

But the question remains – if he weren’t so openly adored, would Federer be so good with fans? He’s never had to face such a reality, so we’ll never know. Much in the same way, Gerrard has never had to decide between his interests and the team’s – they have been one and the same thus far.

Liverpool is ready to move on, as they made clear by not renewing Stevie’s contract. But he’s still there, his time is up, and it’s awkward. The club is priming its next captain in Jordan Henderson, though it’s not out of disrespect for Gerrard. It’s business.

Gerrard’s mere presence is a stalling the club’s transition into next phase. Gerrard is Nike’s Phil Knight—he’s officially stepped down as CEO, but he still wants to contribute and make decisions.

His stature and past contributions ensure that he will retain all the perks of CEO without the headaches OR the risk—possibly to the detriment of the company.

And with nothing at stake career-wise, he cannot be expected to make decisions in the same manner someone wholly invested would. Gerrard is now in his ‘chairman of the board’ phase and it’s unfortunately impinging on Liverpool’s ability to move forward.

The Author

4 thoughts on “Stevie Gerrard – The Lame Duck

  1. I pity for this guy who’s career is ending down in a whimper, should i call him a fallen hero? Oh no, poor steve G still has it all but certainly not where he is. He should have thought better

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