Times, Thursday, February 5, 2009 1:46 PM
Bad news for those who see him as the savior of Liverpool and England -- club captain Steven Gerrard
is out for three weeks with a hamstring tear suffered
during his team's 1-0 defeat at Everton in the FA Cup Wednesday. He will also miss England's friendly in Spain next week, and possibly Liverpool's Champions League game against Real Madrid
Then again, there's a body of opinion skeptical of the constant plaudits thrown Gerrard's way, and they would cite his ragged weekend performance against Chelsea
as a perfect example. Liverpool's creative impulses all came from the superb Xabi Alonso
in central midfield. Gerrard huffed and puffed, played lots of easy
short passes, wasted longer ones, and was yellow-carded for diving. For all his spectacular strikes from outside the penalty area, there are plenty more efforts that end up closer to the corner flag
or the back row of the stands.
The truth is that Gerrard's a good player, but he is nowhere near consistent enough to be termed 'world class.' The question of whether his club and
country need him as badly as his fans seem to think could be answered over the next three weeks. Though if Liverpool falters in Gerrard's absence, at least the team's fans can cite his injury as an
excuse for failing to become English champion yet again.
Read the whole story at Times »