Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Glenn Hoddle has defended Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers’s decision over Steven Gerrard.
Hoddle, who has managed Southampton and Tottenham in the past, believes that Rodgers was right in leaving Gerrard out against Stoke.
“When I saw Steven Gerrard had been left out last weekend by Brendan Rodgers, I thought it was great management,” the current Queens Park Rangers first-team coach wrote in The Daily Mail.
“Some people would say he was dropped; I would say he was rested. When you leave out a player such as Gerrard, it’s always going to create a great fuss but the reality is that he has to manage his games these days.”
Gerrard’s form so far this season has been disappointing, and there are strong (and credible?) suggestions that age is catching up with him.
At 34, the Liverpool captain is certainly past his best, but there is enough quality in him to help Liverpool to a top-four finish in the Premier League this season.
What Rodgers needs to do is play Gerrard intelligently. The Englishman’s role has already been modified on the pitch; now it requires careful assessment of which matches Liverpool can do with and without him.