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Confessions Of A Stevie G


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We are certainly living in extraordinary times, aren’t we? The sort of times that can be summed up as ‘Well, I never thought I’d see the day’ days. I am talking, of course, of that bizarre Steven Gerrard press conference and all it encompasses for those lesser mortals in an improving England squad. Words had to said because questions were beginning to be asked that had never been asked before. The assembled media pack had always stepped back from the brink of questioning Gerrard’s place in the England team, just as live commentary from Clive Tyldesley's to Alan Green's always stepped back from describing the miss hit passes or ballooned shots over the bar, even to the point of having one blatant concessionary example of a match featuring on a classic You Tube video.

In itself [the fact that questions were being asked] this situation could be described as momentous, for in the past it had been oh so easy to keep the Anfield icon on board almost any sinking English ship by merely comparing his performances with others, primarily Frank‘s, and declaring them to be superior. In effect he brooked no comparison and only others suffered, primarily Frank, when the process took place. Indeed, an inability to play alongside Frank has been reported as being down to the Chelsea player so often it led to him being regularly described by the Media as the obvious one to go.

Thank goodness all this changed when Fabio Capello came along and sowed the seed of another, much more forensic, doubt - maybe, just maybe, the Emperor’s suit of clothes was not all that it seemed to be. Admittedly guarded at the outset and in the midst of Frank’s marvellous early season form, the current Media pronouncement on the issue goes no further than stating that a choice may need to be made between the two. Quite when we reach the stage where previously fervent Stevie believers turn and call for him to be dropped is unclear - Saints [and many would include the man himself in their number] preserve us from going that far!

No, we are still some way from that epiphany and as yet the hacks merely pose the question and step back in silent reverence from it, waiting for Fabio to earn his money and cop the flak should he do the deed and we still find ourselves goalless against Belarus after fifty minutes. Unable to wait that long - call it tension, call it pressure, call it as it is - Steven Gerrard felt obliged to speak out about the speculation and I take one sentence above all others as proof of our still being some way from any sort of endgame, especially when the matter is looked at from the Scouser’s distorted point of view…

“I’ll be honest with you and say I have not always hit my Liverpool form for England.â€

To my mind, if I were a football journalist [not another kind altogether] there would be three ways to read that confessional bombshell: a) with affront, because, even though I may give you loads of leeway in print, I still don’t need telling to my face that you’re performing poorly for your country or b] with amazement, because admitting to honesty in this context is akin to admitting previous dishonesty [of performance] or c) with relief, that the whole sham surrounding what can only be described as ‘England Crusading Under Stevie’ is in its death throes.

As confessions go it also left a lot to be desired and, as can be seen from his platitudinous response to Ashley being booed, was pretty much equally self-serving. Evidently, Stevie will forever uphold the right of England fans to boo whoever they please, whilst knowing full well that saying as much is likely to keep him boo-free and in the fans good books for many a future campaign. Harsh? Not when you think back to the time when we tried to sign him and shirts with his name on were burnt with what is now regarded as impunity. His sympathisers then included many in the Media who have fawned all over him since, wary of those same Koppites that sit in edgy judgement every week, but prepared to go along with them in their undying, if slightly threatening, adulation. I suppose that was the price he had to pay for wavering loyalty and from that moment on it has made him the enigma he so patently is for both club and country.

Come to think of it, that really is the Gerrard story in a nutshell. Angst-driven in adversity, he confesses to having faults [in this instance mere mortality] yet adversity, whether it be 0-3 down to Milan or the need for last gasp winners, is an intrinsic part of his make-up and myth. Suggesting that Steven Gerrard be dropped is still taboo and I’ll be honest with you, Stevie, and say that over the years I have not always understood why you have had such a free ride. Maybe now, when that ride is nearly over, I do understand a little more, although I’m sure we’re all left wondering about that ego of yours and whether your character will ultimately prove strong enough to get by when those media benefit giros start to run out.

Edited by Dorset
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Very apt the title of "Confessions of...", especially as Stevie Me is a Drama Queen.

Nice read as ever Dorset, knocked a couple of minutes off my boredom at work.

Lets not forget the 'It doesn't hurt as much losing for England, at least it wasn't Liverpool'' comment.

Nice post Dorset

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