Three Liverpool stars who badly disappointed during Aston Villa loss

Aston Villa knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at Wembley...

Steven Gerrard

This was supposed to be his moment. But, like the rest of his season, it just wasn't to be for the Liverpool skipper.

For all the criticism, mockery and, quite frankly, downright abuse Steven Gerrard will receive over another failure with the Reds, however, it's imperative to note that the 34-year-old will be as disappointed with his role in the Aston Villa loss as everyone else.

Against Villa, Gerrard just wasn't involved. Even his set-piece deliveries and the very basic elements of his game were so, so flat.

Barely playing for weeks will do that to you. But it's clear this is more than that: a permanent decline for the Liverpool hero. Yet the problem that leaves the club with is this:

Gerrard is a spent force, leaving Anfield this summer. During his Reds career, though, he has achieved almost everything and proved himself time and time again. What have those staying at Liverpool next season done?

Jordan Henderson

Worryingly, Gerrard's heir to the throne was just as inept. Clearly, there were major problems with Liverpool's tactics, preparation and - most likely - Brendan Rodgers' pre-match team talk. The players, Jordan Henderson a prime example, just weren't motivated and, if Rodgers' team talks are anything like his press conferences, it's pretty easy to see why.

But Rodgers is a whole other issue. Henderson is Liverpool's de facto captain as Gerrard is no longer a key player on Merseyside and will no longer be with the Reds next term. The 24-year-old needs to turn up in big games. Fabian Delph did everything Henderson normally does at Wembley - and better.

Lazar Markovic

Once again, Lazar Markovic was as good as an absentee for Liverpool.

So many praise the Serb and question Rodgers for continually hauling him off at half-time. But what has Markovic done since joining the Reds? And what did he do against Aston Villa?

He is not a £20 million player.

The only defence of the Liverpool winger - and it's a credible one, for sure - is that he was bought for the future. There are too many at Anfield, however, that have been bought several years before they reach their peak (and what then if they don't?). Future stars didn't help them against Aston Villa. And the likelihood is they won't next season, either, unless they - both the club and the players themselves - start focusing on the present.

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