Written by Kurt West
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are two of England’s greatest ever players, certainly in the last 20 years. Both players followed similar career paths, both having almost spent their whole career with solely one team. After both leaving their respective MLS clubs in LA Galaxy and NYCFC last week, they are now in the same boat once again, where to go next? In this two part article I will be discussing both Gerrard’s and Lampard’s possible destinations both as players or even in a role off the pitch.
I think it’s fair to say Gerrard will look back on his time at LA Galaxy as some what of a failure after not being able to pick up an MLS cup in his two years in America, something he said from the outset that he wanted to achieve whilst in America. It’s a known fact Gerrard has never won a league title and I’m sure wherever he goes next, he will want to make sure he ends his long awaited drought.
The one club Gerrard was always going to be linked with was his boyhood club Liverpool. It would be an offer I’m sure Gerrard himself would surely not turn down, Liverpool are in their moment for a very long time and sit top of the Premier League with the charismatic Jurgen Klopp doing an extremely good job at Anfield. The question surely has to be; is he really what Liverpool need right now? Klopp’s high pressing style of play would not be easy to pull off with Gerrard at a ripe old age of 36 and having just come from America where the football is a considerably slower style I think he may struggle to adapt. That along with the good form of Adam Lallana, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum I really don’t think it’d be easy for Gerrard to get into that team, especially when you look onto the bench where they have the athletic duo of Emre Can and Marko Grujic. For me I just don’t see this one happening, I feel like Liverpool would just being doing it for sentimental reasons and I think Jurgen Klopp is clever enough not to take a risk on this one.
credit Steve Boulton
Another couple of options Gerrard has been linked with is that of Newcastle United and Celtic. Obviously both these clubs are linked for a reason, with both the managers being former managers of Steven Gerrard. Rafa Benitez, manager of Newcastle, was the manager of Liverpool during perhaps both his and Gerrard’s greatest night in football, Istanbul 2005. Gerrard was always a huge part of all the Benitez teams he played in and I’m sure he’d be excited being able to link up with the man he has so much respect for, as I’m sure Benitez does for him. Another reason why I think this would be a great move is that Gerrard would be able to come back to England which I think is something he is definitely wanting to do, playing in a new league and with the huge possibility of a league title in May, I think he’d find it a hard offer to turn down. I do definitely think this is an extremely likely destination for him, perhaps more so of the possibility of him playing under Brendan Rodgers again, at Celtic. Of course, Rodgers had a fantastic year at Liverpool where he almost brought Gerrard his first ever Premier League title and I think it’s pretty clear to see that Gerrard would be a huge addition to the Celtic squad and would be a marquee signing for Scottish football. However I do think Gerrard would be weary to work under Rodgers again after his last season at Liverpool where he seemed to faze him out and I do think he took that as quite a personal jibe at the time. Rodgers left him out of games like Real Madrid and I think that’s definitely going to play into his mind if he ever does get an offer from the north of the border.
Of course another offer is always going to be offers from abroad, Inter Milan have been mentioned and I’m sure China has been uttered around by a few media sources. I don’t see China being an option for Stevie as I believe he still has so much to offer and is hardly short of a buck after his two years in America. A move to a European ‘sleeping giant’ in Inter Milan would be an incredibly fascinating move for the world of football and after Inter’s incredibly poor start to the season it could be a move that happens.
OFF THE FIELD OPTIONS
Gerrard is currently studying for his Continental A license, which is the second highest coaching qualification in Football so he certainly has the qualities to go straight into a managerial role. Earlier in the article I said Klopp should be hesitant to offer Gerrard a playing role at Liverpool but I think a coaching role would be an absolutely perfect fit for Gerrard if he does want to retire from the game. He’d be learning under one of the best managers in England and in fact Europe and I think it would be a very fascinating partnership. With such a young squad, his experience would be absolutely vital in what looks like could be a title challenge for the red half of Merseyside.
Another option which looks like a very very likely option at the moment is that of Milton Keynes Dons in League One. It is being rumoured that Gerrard has been offered the managerial role after the departure of long serving Karl Robinson. It would certainly be a highly intriguing appointment seeing Gerrard has zero managerial pedigree and with a club going through a rough stage in their history (very short history!) it could be an appointment that goes either way. I don’t particular think it would be a very safe option for him but if he wants to go out and prove himself in management then a job at a struggling League One team is probably the way to go!
These are arguably the most important weeks in Steven Gerrard’s career and it’s going to be fascinating where he ends up. Look out for my Frank Lampard article which will be out later this week.
Where should Gerrard go? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Philip Wilson