Stevie G - One of us
May 31 2015
I had intended to write this in the wake of Gerrard's last match at Anfield but time ran away with me and then his last game ever in a red shirt came and went... crashing through us, piling misery, anger and confusion on Liverpool's season. Our season. His season.
After pretty much spending 2 days in bed and a state of utter depression and denial after Stoke I wanted to try & put the immediate context of Gerrard's departure to one side and reflect on not just the player, but the man.
There's no doubt that the result against Palace was hugely disappointing. Some said the result didn’t really matter, and that thought crossed my mind too, but of course it did. We're Liverpool FC, every result matters. My goodness did we realise how much a result matters last weekend.
In a macabre way it was a microcosm of Gerrard's career at LFC... too often he has been let down by sub-standard players around him... too often it's ended in disappointment for him. I don't think anyone would have believed quite how horribly it did end. I bet he can't wait to get on that plane to LA.
The last two games have also showed that Gerrard alone isn't enough anymore. Liverpool need some of our young players to step up and carve out the next chapter... one of success. Maybe being able to step out of Stevie's shadow will help them.
All in all the send-off at Palace was about right I think. He deserved some pomp and circumstance but it was the moments of unplanned adulation which were the most fitting. The hugely impassioned YNWA the thunderous renditions of "Steve Gerrard is our captain" just before kick-off and then half way through his acceptance speech.
Perhaps most beautiful of all was when he blasted a chance into the kop and "what the fucking hell was that" rang out. It's something that any other set of fans wouldn't understand, it was a truly scouse thing. It was his people taking the piss. It's what his mates would do, and what he'd want. He's a normal lad who happens to be world class at football. But he's never got above his station. His people have never let him. The scouse way.
He's human, he's made mistakes, he's fucked up, he's smacked some jumped up Manc DJ like we'd all probably have done.
For all his brilliance as a footballer, for all the screamers, late winners and silverware, that is what makes Gerrard unique, unrivalled, the best ever... he was one of us. And he always will be.
I'll leave you with one of my favourite stories about Stevie. Paul Ince, ex Manc and captain of Liverpool at the time recalls that he was "strolling" round a training game at Melwood one time when a young scally lad who'd been brought up from the youth team clattered him. He gave him an earful for going in so hard in training... and having the nerve to do it to him. The young lad told Ince to "shut the fuck up."
"Who's that kid?" Ince asked Jamie Redknapp. "That's Stevie G" he replied.
Written by Tom Johnson
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