Liverpool legend Steve Nicol told talkSPORT what he feels will be a problem for Steven Gerrard this weekend.
The club’s captain plays his final game at Anfield this weekend against Crystal Palace and Nicol has suggested that it will be impossible for Gerrard to ignore the magnitude of the occasion, which may affect his performance.
“The problem Steven Gerrard has is that he’s such a professional, he’ll try and ignore the occasion – He’ll probably get taken off in the second half and he’ll get a tremendous ovation – the emotion will build throughout,” he said.
Gerrard has had a very long and superb career with the Reds, winning multiple domestic trophies as well as a Champions League title with the club.
He’ll stay focused and switched on to trying to get the team three points, but he’s human and at some point during the game it will kick in that he’ll never play at home in front of Liverpool’s fans ever again.
Rodgers has to stay switched on throughout the game to judge the point where it’s necessary to bring Gerrard off, if his performance starts to dip.
A good parallel example of where a player can be affected can be drawn with how David Beckham’s professional career ended.
Carlo Ancelotti, when he was in charge at Paris Saint-Germain, was forced to take Beckham off during his final game because his performance was affected with the midfielder in tears at seeing his career coming to an end.
Hopefully by the time Rodgers inevitably brings Gerrard off, the match will be wrapped up and hopefully Gerrard would have scored a goal in the process, typical of his career.