Gerrard vows to defy ravages of time

17 August 2012 11:17

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has hit back at suggestions that he needs to change his all-action style to avoid burn-out by insisting he can still be a rampaging force for new Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

Gerrard, who turned 32 in May, has struggled with groin and ankle injuries for much of the last two seasons and many critics believe that is a result of the strain he puts on his body with such a high-tempo style of play.

Some pundits have claimed the England captain will have to adapt to the ravages of time by playing a deeper central role that allows him to dictate play with his passing rather than his lung-bursting runs up and down the midfield areas.

But the prospect of emulating Manchester United veteran Paul Scholes's switch to a similar position does not impress Gerrard, who says Rodgers also believes there is still enough life in his legs to allow him to continue with his swashbuckling style.

"I have spoken to the manager about what role he sees me filling," Gerrard said. "I still think he sees me as an attacking midfielder. I don't think anything is going to change this season. I can still play a dynamic, energetic game.

"I'm prepared to adapt. I'll do whatever the manager wants but I can still play the same way. I think people want me to say I can't play the same way anymore; that I will have to go deeper and play a slower game.

"But, believe me, it's not happening yet. I'll play the Scholes role when I feel it's time but it's not time yet.

"I've got the medical staff collecting figures every day in training. They measure your heart-rate, the amount of running you do and monitor you at high tempo, low tempo.

"They haven't come to me and said, 'listen, I don't think you can play the way you've been for the last 10 years'. They will do one day, they'll come to me and say I might need to adapt but it hasn't come to that yet."

Gerrard has been playing at the highest level for 13 years now but believes his dynamic displays at Euro 2012, where he showed tactical discipline while remaining a creative threat, prove he can still cut it now his injury problems seem to be over.

"I had major surgery on my groin and a big operation on my ankle through bad luck but that's gone," said Gerrard. "My groins are better than they've been for years.

"My figures in the Euros were as good as any player there, so I don't need to sit in front of anyone and say I have to play differently.

"On the other side of it, I know I'm not going to be bombing forward every few seconds without a care of what's happening behind me.

"I do appreciate I'm no spring chicken but I don't think I have to justify myself or say I'm ready to play a different position."

Source: AFP