West Ham United earned a 2-2 draw with Hull City on Monday night, but Sam Allardyce's side face a totally different test today as they host Liverpool at Upton Park this evening. The Reds have had an underwhelming week, losing 1-0 to Aston Villa and scraping past Ludogorets Razgrad with a last minute penalty to win 2-1 - with both games at Anfield.
Liverpool's saviour against Ludogorets was an unsurprising figure; Steven Gerrard. The Liverpool captain, 34, will forever go down as a Reds legend having made almost 700 appearances for the club, and his service to Liverpool means that many fans and even players look up to the former England international.
One of those is Alex Song. The Cameroon international made his name with Arsenal before departing for Barcelona in 2012, but having failed to supplant Sergio Busquets in the holding midfield role, he had to leave Catalunya for first team football and surprisingly chose to join West Ham on a season-long loan.
The 27-year-old is now set to make his first start for the Hammers against Liverpool and Gerrard this evening, and the new signing says that he believes Gerrard can play until he's 40.
"It’s not just focused on one player but I think Gerrard is the best player I’ve seen in a Liverpool shirt for me. It’s my own opinion," Song told ESPN. "I have played against him a lot and every time I play against him, I have thought, ‘Today will be very hard’. He has achieved a lot of things at Liverpool and is still only 34 years old. But he is still good enough to play – he can play maybe till he’s 40. When I see him run, he is a very good example to the young players coming through.
"I think it is very important to have those kind of loyal players who play for Liverpool for a long time. It is a very different team when Gerrard is not in it. I like Stevie’s style and the way he plays. When you are a midfielder, you try to watch other midfielders and how they play. For me, he is a great player – one of the best. I always try to watch the best players in my position and try to learn. Gerrard is one of the players I was watching when I was young," he added.