At the same stage this time last season, Steven Gerrard was better off in six out of eight key aspects of his game.
When it comes to desire, emotion and leadership, there are few players in the Premier League that can touch the Liverpool captain, but with 11 games of the season gone, he needs to improve on his numbers in order to warrant a first XI slot in Rodgers' side.
However, does this prove Liverpool need to find a successor to Gerrard sooner rather than later in order to progress, or is he just out of form? Here are the statistics to help you decide.
Steven Gerrard this season:
|2014-15||Goals||Goal Assist||Shots on target||Key Passes||Accurate Passes||Battle Won||Loss of Possession||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
Steven Gerrard last season:
|2013-14||Goals||Goal Assist||Shots on target||Key Passes||Accurate Passes||Battle Won||Loss of Possession||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
The only area Steven Gerrard is better off this season than he was last is when in control of possession; he doesn't lose the ball as much. A trait that could be put down to 'playing it safe' and not taking enough gambles in the middle of the park to start off moves. Although, it has to be said the difference between the two numbers - 151 and 166 - is only small.
Last season, he had scored two penalties in his first 11 games, with none from open play. Whereas this season, he has netted one penalty and one goal from open play.
The other six aspects, however, he is comfortably worse off than at the same point last season.
Despite playing 27 minutes more this season than last, he has made fewer assists, took fewer shots on goals, made fewer accurate passes, won fewer battles and made fewer touches. All traits which, in his position, are absolutely integral in order to make the team function. The small win of not losing possession as much, in comparison to his big losses, is hardly making up for his lesser impact.
The statistics, in this instance, show how Gerrard needs to improve in the up-and-coming games and show that he can produce the goods he did so easily last season. Otherwise, Rodgers can be forgiven for looking elsewhere.