When the England and Reds captain joined the Liverpool Academy at the age of 9, Kenny Dalglish was still in his first spell in charge at Anfield.
He has made 432 senior appearances for the club, scored 96 goals and won them two FA Cups, 3 League Cups, one Champions League, one UEFA Cup, and two UEFA Super Cups, almost single-handedly.
He has been the staple of the Liverpool team, it’s heartbeat, it’s creative nucleus, and it’s leader since his debut season in 1998.
He is Mr Liverpool, he’s stayed with them through the trials, the tribulations and the tragedies along with the triumphs and now it must surely be time for him to think about his future.
His current contract expired in the summer of 2015 by which time he will be 35 and well into the twilight of his career. I don’t know what the future holds for the Englishman but I would guess he would want to remain at the club in whatever capacity he can – whether that be on a rolling one-year contract as a player or perhaps as a coach.
With the current manager Brendan Rodgers having done very little to steady the ship that has been capsizing since the departure of Rafael Benitez in 2011, it is hardly a controversial suggestion to make that Steven Gerrard might fancy having a go at being player-manager.
He is as close to being the manager on the pitch already – he directs and instructs everyone around him and steps up to plate when his team need him. When all else fails, there’s Steven Gerrard, season after season, in the driver’s seat with both hands on the wheel.
The more mature of the Kop faithful will remember the last time Liverpool had a player manager – Graeme Souness took over from Kenny Dalglish who had previously become a player-manager back in 1986. Dalglish won 3 league titles, 2 FA Cups and his successor won an FA Cup.
If, and it’s still an ‘if’, Brendan Rodgers fails to turn things around – whether this season or the next – surely the suggested must be mooted that Gerrard should take over the reigns.
He has all the attributes – he’s intelligent, he knows the game inside out, he’s eloquent and diplomatic with the press, he’s a role model to the youngsters, he’s tactically astute, he’s driven and diligent, determined and daring. The question really should be: why shouldn’t Steven Gerrard become Liverpool manager?