Statistical evidence England do not know how to use Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard playing for England v France - Euro 2012

Much was said about Steven Gerrard's deeper role in the run-up to the tournament, but does Roy Hodgson really understand how to get the best out of the Liverpool man?

Great players are known for adapting, and Steven Gerrard is one of them.

He enjoyed one of his best seasons in years for Liverpool last time out, playing in a deeper role than which he is used to, and helping orchestrate play.

Roy Hodgson has attempted to replicate this for England, even utilising club-mate Jordan Henderson alongside him.

But for one reason or another, it has failed to work to the Three Lions benefit.

Under Hodgson, Gerrard's attacking skills have been curbed almost entirely, and when you think back to the way he inspired England at Euro 2012, it has been like he has been playing with one hand tied behind his back.

A look at the way he has failed to get forward for England, compared to his averages for Liverpool, illustrates how he has been held back.

Steven Gerrard for Liverpool 2013/14:

  TeamSuccessful Final Third Passes / appsFwd Pass / apps
Steven Gerrard Liverpool 13.56 22.53

Steven Gerrard for England v Uruguay:

  TeamSuccessful Final Third PassesFwd Pass
Steven Gerrard England 5 12

For Gerrard to be able to make just five passes in the offensive third, is almost criminal when you consider the talent he has at his feet.

Whatever you think of his skills, and aptitude to fill the defensive holding midfield role, England needed to find a way to allow him to get forward at times to affect the game.

Even from his position, Gerrard was limited, and managed 10 less forward passes than he would have done in a typical game for Liverpool last season.

Gerrard is a player who can change games, and who can win games, and England have failed to find a way to get him to utilise that talent as part of his role.

With Uruguay sitting back for much of the second half, a failure to allow Gerrard to create, meant the front players placed with extra burden, and losing out on the opportunities the Liverpool man would carve out.

While the captain will take flak for his unlucky header into the path of Luis Suarez, it is the task he was asked to perform and restrictions placed on his creativity, which was most unfortunate for England.

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