Carragher: Why Gerrard is the first name on my Liverpool teamsheet

The ex-Liverpool defender is in no doubt about the 34-year-old's abilities.

Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard would be one of the first names on his teamsheet were he in charge at Anfield.

The 36-year-old concedes the Reds captain has his weaknesses but says he would pick him for a big game without a second's thought.

And the Sky Sports pundit insists his reasons have 'nothing to do with sentiment.'

"Some critics believe he should be out of the picture. Others couldn't be without him. Where do I stand? Well, put it this way, if Liverpool were playing in a major final now, Steven would be one of the first names I'd put down on the teamsheet. My reasons would have nothing do with sentiment," Carragher wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

The Reds icon does admit, however, that Gerrard cannot really deliver in his current role and the problem lies in that he is 'not a great protector of a defence.'

"The dynamic of the deep-lying role he occupied last season has changed as Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge have not been around to provide outlets," Carragher explained.

"Steven is not a great protector of a defence. He's there to start attacks from deep rather than shield a defence as Dietmar Hamann or Javier Mascharano did for me.

"Now, his age is being tied in with his form. I know what it is like to reach such a stage."

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