DIRK KUYT believes Steven Gerrard's inspirational performance at Bolton last weekend has underlined his status as 'the best midfielder in the world.'
The Reds skipper answered his critics - amongst them his own manager who has been charged by the Football Association for improper conduct after comments made after the Reds' opening day 2-1 defeat to Tottenham - with a stirring return to form at the Reebok Stadium.
And while Barcelona maestro Xavi pipped Gerrard for UEFA's Midfield Player of the Year title last week, Kuyt declared: 'Stevie's winning goal against Bolton showed why he's the captain and, for me, the best midfielder in the world. Everybody expects that from him.
'If the team is in a difficult position, we expect something from him. He brings something special to the team. We're all really happy to have him.'
Kuyt also claimed that his Reds' team-mates were unconcerned by the fledgling Premier League table.
'At the moment it's not important to look at where teams like Chelsea, Man United and Arsenal are because we've got to think about ourselves. That is the priority and I'm sure if we keep winning games, we'll be up there soon,' he added.
'We will see where we are in a couple of months. Chelsea are a top side. We knew that at the start of the season and we've seen that so far. But every team will struggle this season. We have to focus on ourselves and keep winning our own games.