Stats: Why Steven Gerrard's position in the Liverpool side is becoming a problem

Steven Gerrard takes a question during a pregame press conference

The Liverpool captain has been dropped deeper to prolong his career.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has been played in a deeper midfield position for the past 10 months or so. 

Manager Brendan Rodgers has suggested that it could prolong his career and mean he makes a valuable contribution to the team with both his passing range and leadership.

But so far this season there hasn't been much to suggest that Gerrard is offering much to the side. He seems lost, uncomfortable - and with Liverpool only keeping one clean sheet so far this season, as a deeper midfielder he has to take his share of the blame for a couple of defensive mishaps this season.

So let's compare his statistics with the other midfielders from last season and so far this season.

Liverpool midfielders 2013/14:

  TeamPosTackles won %Dispossessed per gameEffective Clearances per gameDuels Won per gameAccurate pass %AppsMins
Joe Allen Liverpool MF 83.58 1.08 0.88 4.88 86.65 24 1,438
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 75.68 1.45 0.27 5.61 80.58 33 2,334
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 72.73 0.37 1.93 5.96 90.80 27 1,872
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 72.45 0.53 2.65 5.12 85.98 34 2,900
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 71.08 0.74 1.83 4.17 87.11 35 3,128

Liverpool midfielders 2014/15:

  TeamPosTackles won %Dispossessed per gameEffective Clearances per gameDuels Won per gameAccurate pass %AppsMins
Philippe Coutinho Liverpool MF 100.00 1.33 0.33 3.33 81.76 3 226
Steven Gerrard Liverpool MF 87.50 0.20 3.20 2.60 85.80 5 450
Lucas Leiva Liverpool MF 75.00 0 3.50 3.50 85.07 2 108
Jordan Henderson Liverpool MF 73.33 1.20 1.60 4.60 87.35 5 450
Emre Can Liverpool MF 66.67 0 0 2.50 95.83 2 44
Joe Allen Liverpool MF 60.00 1.00 0 3.67 85.25 3 163

The statistic that makes interesting reading from last season is that Joe Allen was ahead of Gerrard in terms of tackles won - an attribute he isn't necessarily renowned for. And his accurate passing is ahead of the Liverpool captain's as well. Unfortunately for Allen, he is currently nursing a knee injury and is a couple of weeks away from full fitness, and was dearly missed in the game against West Ham at the weekend. The thing is with Allen, it limits one of his best attributes which is to press the play. 

But in every area someone seems to outdo Gerrard with the exception of effective clearances last term. Lucas Leiva topped the duels won and passing percentages which are two big areas rather and is better than Gerrard in the tackles won last term.

That side of Gerrard's game appears to have seen a marked improvement this term when it comes to tackles and his accurate passing is holding at a steady rate. But all but one of the central midfielders are outdoing Gerrard when it comes to duels won - and that is a major worry.

One can't help but feel if Emre Can hadn't picked up an injury on international duty we would be seeing a lot more of him now and Gerrard could be getting a bit of rest. 

But Gerrard's career has been built on crucial interventions in front of goal, everybody knows he can finish. One only has to look at a player who is still playing further up the field and producing the goods in Frank Lampard. Yes, he is used sparingly but he is providing a telling contribution.

Brendan Rodgers would be a brave man to drop him, and right now the side can't afford to drop Gerrard given the injury predicament. But he could be used differently and have more of an effect on the game. Right now it seems to be a massive problem.

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