Gerrard as a centre-back? Why Rodgers sees potential

Steven Gerrard

Brendan Rodgers believes Steven Gerrard could have a future as a central defender.

On the fifteenth anniversary of the England international’s Liverpool debut against Blackburn Rovers, the Northern Irish tactician has suggested a rather unconventional route for his captain to prolong his career.

The central midfielder spends most of his days a part of a double pivot with Lucas Leiva in front of the Reds’ defence, though was deployed in a slightly more advanced position as the manager experimented with a three-man back line.

Yet Rodgers sees Gerrard with the ability to make the transition to centre-back, citing his ability to orchestrate play from deep-lying positions as a major qualification.

"I think he can play as a number two centre-half late in his career," Rodgers told an assembly of press members.

"You're playing against certain teams where they've got one up [in attack], I think he can play as a centre-half - as a right-sided centre-half, and build the game from behind.

"How he passes the ball is as good as anyone in the world, short and long, so it's a possibility that he could go on."

Rodgers’ contention is just a slight bit strange, as it would seem odd that a player most known for his attacking talents would be thrown into central defence at the age of 33.

Even the positional sense that is so integral to successful centre-backs’ game aside, Gerrard lacks the requisite tackling ability and aerial prowess, and moving him so far from goal would limit his offensive contributions whilst also potentially reducing his effectiveness from set pieces.

Furthermore, are Rodgers’ comments meant to insinuate that he has considered such a positional switch for Gerrard, or purely hypothetical?

An unexpected statement from the Liverpool manager, this one is.

But if Mamadou Sakho, Daniel Agger or Martin Skrtel ends up on the bench at some point in the future in favour of Gerrard, it then can then be said that nobody should be surprised as Rodgers gave warning long in advance.

image: © wonker

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