Why the Liverpool captain's stance should be scrutinised more than a penalty scored

Steven Gerrard takes a question during a pregame press conference

Steven Gerrard probably wasn't wise with the words he chose after Mario Balotelli scored the winning penalty for Liverpool against Besiktas.

A lot has been said about Mario Balotelli taking a penalty, scoring it, and Liverpool winning the game as a result. When you put it like that, a one word question follows. Why?

Liverpool fans have had their say on it - most seem to be of the opinion with Steven Gerrard absent through injury then Balotelli is the man should take the responsibility from 12 yards if on the field. 

With the Italian starting the game from the bench, however, Jordan Henderson seemed to be the man given the responsibilities and there was, let's say a discussion, over who should take the kick. 

But there have been a couple of gripes with fans on our Facebook page with comments on links to several of our articles - some say the words Steven Gerrard had to say after the game when working as a pundit for ITV, accusing the Italian of disrespect, was out of order and should be left within the dressing, while a small element accuse Balotelli of disrespecting the on field captain - both of which you could argue are valid points.

An extra point I'd make is before last night's game, Steven Gerrard told those at ITV it would be a dream for him to become manager of Liverpool, with the club's captain departing the club for LA Galaxy in the MLS in the summer.

But what he said after the game in accusing his teammate publicly of disrespecting Jordan Henderson wasn't befitting of a person who is good at man-management.

When asked what he made of the affair, Gerrard had scope to say it's nice that he still has a big role to play between now and his departure, and that he knows he'll be missed when he's gone. But no, he slags his teammate off - which probably won't help Brendan Rodgers behind the scenes [though he seemed to be taking things in his stride at his press call for this weekend's game]. It was easy for Gerrard to keep it in house, but he didn't.

For a man that has a reputation for leading by example, the 34-year-old should know better. Dressing room politics should stay in the dressing room and as a result his words have led to what may have been little more than a footnote become an endless reel of debate for news websites and broadcasters to fill space.

Steven Gerrard has done a lot of good for Liverpool Football Club and their players, but to let himself get dragged into the debate was naive at best. It may not have done any career as a future pundit too many favours, but he is Liverpool captain first.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch