Related News

Home » Sports » Soccer

Gerrard keen on central role

WITH six goals in Liverpool's last three matches, Steven Gerrard has strengthened his case to play in central midfield for England.

The 28-year-old Gerrard's advanced position has helped put Liverpool back in the English Premier League title race and into the Champions League quarterfinals.

His play has made him indispensable to Liverpool since manager Rafa Benitez gave him the freedom to roam, bursting through to torment defenders while supporting striker Fernando Torres. But his impact on the England team has been less explosive, primarily because he has been shunted to the left flank by coach Fabio Capello.

"I played a couple of years on the right when Rafa first came. I had a little moan and a little complain that I was there every week and he said to me when I get strong enough players to play out wide I want you in a central position, attacking," Gerrard said.

"Maybe when I was a bit younger I was a bit selfish and thinking of myself a bit too much when he was playing me out of position. Maybe I should have taken a deep breath and realized it was for the team. At the moment he is playing me in my favorite position, I'm the captain and we are winning. It's really good."

Gerrard, who has missed England's last two matches due to injuries, has three days of training before Saturday's friendly against Slovakia to convince Capello, who has been accused of "killing" Gerrard by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp for not deploying him in his favored central role.

England then has a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on April 1.

"You get the best out of me when I'm free to run at defenders and cause danger in the attacking third," Gerrard said. "I'd love nothing better than to be given the chance in that role (for England) to try to find that club form. Fabio has to make that decision. If I was picked to play there I would be really happy. I've played there all season for Liverpool. I think it would help me."

And he believes it would help England win its first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

"I'm desperate to win something with England. When we've been knocked out of tournaments the hurt and the pain is exactly the same as when you don't achieve something with your club," he said. "I have many more ambitions left for club and country. It's nice to be top of the group but the challenge now is to get qualification sorted and then go into the tournament full of confidence."

Gerrard said that he has no thoughts about leaving his lifelong club. "I've got two years left on contract and would be happy to extend it," Gerrard said. "I've never been happier than I am now in my career. I'm playing in a top team with world-class players and I believe in the manager, that going forward we can be successful."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend