World Cup opportunity beckons for Gerrard

Back in February I raised the question of Rio Ferdinand’s fitness and his continuing injury problems, asking “how long can this go on?”. Well now we have our answer.

At the time it seemed to me that someone who hardly played and was the subject of much speculation about his ability to play more than three games before breaking down deserved some serious scrutiny before the job of England captain became his.

I also reiterated my belief that the job should have gone to Steven Gerrard three or four years ago, before his “drive and determination” were “blunted by age and disillusionment”. He was, of course, ignored in favour of defenders Terry and then Ferdinand.

There is some history behind this decision. Gerrard’s detractors claim he has never really performed for England since Germany were destroyed in Munich in 2001.

He was unlucky to miss out in 2002, and his nervously misplaced back pass during the 2004 European Championships led to France’s winning goal in a group game England should have won.

That said, he bounced back to score against Switzerland in the same tournament and was England’s top scorer in Germany in 2006 with two goals.

Gerrard contributed three goals in England’s successful World Cup qualification run, one in Belarus and two in the crushing 5 – 1 victory over Croatia.

Gerrard also has an excellent relationship with Wayne Rooney. Watching them bear down on defences is still an awesome sight.

Still, 16 goals from 80 caps seems a meagre haul for such a player. Perhaps that’s the problem now. So much talent, so little to show for it on the international stage.

Over to you, Stevie G.


Darco20 said...

You have a good point, but Gerrard is a good leader, and a tireless worker, which are things he can really bring to the team.

On the goals part, sometimes players don't do as well on the international level (I'm referring mainly to midfielders) because they are not used to the partnerships. I think if the England squad had more training sessions throughout the year (impossible I know) Gerrard would do better because he would then adjust to his English teammates.

I'm also doing a world cup blog and I would be ecstatic if we sort of network, could be good for us. Finishing up the groups right now, but it will be ready in time for kickoff.


Mike Towers said...

Sure, let me know if you want to do a guest post or something here.

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