One-club men do not exist. Not in the money-laden footballing culture that we live in today. This make Steven Gerrard’s accomplishments at Liverpool even more impressive. He consistently turned down moves to other clubs because he truly loved and truly believed in what he was a part of. Even more impressive is that Gerrard found the net 186 times. His role in the team changed drastically over the years, from a young-energy filled box to box goal-scoring machine, to a deep-lying playmaker that could ping the ball wherever he wanted. The transition was impressive as were his exploits at the club. Take some time and appreciate the 186 goals below:
“Stay away from Gerrard’s shirt because it’s mine,” when a teammate of Akinfenwa hears those words you can be rest assured they listened. This man is absurdly huge and I’m disappointed in myself that it took me until now to learn about him. I know this is the second blog post about him today but his sheer size cannot be overstated. The funny part is he sounds so nice and soft-spoken during his interview. I expected him to just roar the entire time.
P.S. His strength rating in FIFA 15 is 97. 97! That’s the highest of any player in FIFA 15 and for good reason.
Let me paint a picture for you: “You walk in the door after a slight trot from the car because you didn’t want to miss the opening kick. Your phone is ringing like crazy because your boss is wondering where you are but that doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you made it home in time to catch the start of the FA Cup tie you’ve been waiting weeks for.
You’ve been waiting so anxiously because Liverpool has made it quite clear that the only hope of a trophy this season is by making a run in this tournament. So life stops as the game begins. Captain Gerrard is in the mix as a strong Liverpool side is put out to take care of business away from home. The typical mishaps occur and you cringe as Skrtel and Sakho make a meal of things at the back. You smirk at the elegance of a more advanced Steven Gerrard brings to the game but you curl into the fetal position every time the ball comes near Ricky Lambert. Still, you watch on and just as the miraculous do, Gerrard wins a brave header and puts the Reds up early.
But then, as Liverpool have done this year, the foot comes off the gas a bit and Wimbledon find themselves capable of crossing the midfield line. Akinfenwa, the monstrous forward, pressures and fouls and bodies everyone. Eventually, your recently demoted Mignolet is bodied off a skyward ball and the first to react to the dropping diamond is none other than the strongest footballer in the world, Akinfenwa. You expect this it is not ultra cringe worthy but still you have trouble smiling for a while. You almost consider answering your phone and going back to work but you don’t. You tough it out.
Chances are traded both ways and it almost looks as if AFC Wimbledon might upset the mighty Reds. By now, your watching through your index and middle fingers and your dog is looking at you like you are an incredibly pathetic version of your normal self. This is true but warranted.
Finally and I mean finally, a free kick is given in a spot that any right-footed spot-kick mastermind would savor like the last piece of bacon on Christmas morning. You hope Gerrard takes it. You know he is leaving your club forever but you want more for him. So he steps up and again, as legends do, he places a shot that ripples the back of the net and sends Liverpool on its way to Bolton. You stand up and remove the pillow that you’ve been latched to since that equalizer and throw in the wash since you’ve sweated all over it. You finally take a moment and smile at what greatness you saw from the Liverpool legend. You pet your dog, you turn off the tv and you grab a pint. This is Liverpool and this is what I love. Better call the boss and make sure I can come to work tomorrow.”
This is the magic of the strongest man in the soccer world:
Not easy to deal with that but congratulations to Liverpool on finding a way through!
You figure a legend like Steven Gerrard would only come to USA if he was headed to one of the big markets in the MLS. Both LA Galaxy and the NY Redbulls have recently freed up a Designated Player spot. NY Redbulls are an interesting one just because Frank Lampard is supposed to come back to NYCFC (we’ll see when) and join David Villa in starting a rivalry with NYRB. Something in my brain is blinking saying, “Why wouldn’t one midfield legend want to compete with another in such close proximity that a simple half hour drive or train ride could have them grabbing a cup of tea together in a downtown cafe?” LA Galaxy have the “Donovan” spot available. This one that needs to be completed with someone of equal or greater soccer cultural relevance. This could be easily filled with the services of the Red’s legend. And so we continue, Orlando City still has a DP spot that could (should…cough….definitely be) be used for him. But we all know that will not happen. As big as the opportunity for a Floridian soccer market stranglehold that Orland City has, I don’t see it overtaking the lures of New York or Los Angeles. But, Steven Gerrard is a different type of player with loyalty and commitment not often seen during the past generation and one that will continue to dissolve into obscurity. According to this report from the MLS: Galaxy to Sign Gerrard, Gerrard is already on his way to LA. It will be strange to watch him in anything but a Liverpool kit but I am looking forward to him in the MLS, with whichever club finally captures his signature.