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Liverpool skipper Gerrard showed exactly why players should not be pundits

Date: 20th February 2015 at 6:45 am
Written by: | Comments (8)

mario pen besiktasLiverpool managed to secure a vital first leg win against Besiktas in their Europa League tie on Thursday night and while the goal came late, it will not matter to their fans or manager Brendan Rodgers – with the second leg away from home now looking far more comfortable.

That is not what most people are talking about however – rather the penalty that led to the goal, which was scored by Mario Balotelli is dominating all the headlines.

Balotelli, who has a sublime record in penalty shootouts and has taken them in far more pressurised circumstances wanted to step up and be the man for his team.

That caused a bit of a row – and while it was far from the Leighton Baines / Kevin Mirallas fiasco of a few weeks back, Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge were not happy.

Henderson seemed to be the designated penalty taker but after a discussion with Balotelli, handed the ball over and saw the Italian score. All’s well that ends well? No, and that is because of Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard.

The midfielder was in the ITV studio talking about the game he was missing through injury and rather than taking the opportunity to defuse the situation, point to Balotelli’s record when it comes to penalties and focus on the result, took the chance to make his rather harsh feelings on Balotelli known at full time.

Gerrard noted: ‘Jordan should have taken the penalty. Rules are rules. It should have been Henderson. Mario has been a bit mischievous.

‘Credit to Mario, he’s scored, but it’s not nice to see when footballers are arguing.

‘Jordan is the captain and Mario showed Jordan a bit of disrespect there, but he’s scored a very important goal.

‘I think six or seven players would have wanted to take that penalty so if they all say they are taking it, what happens then? Rules are in place for a reason.’

Putting aside if Balotelli was right or wrong to take the penalty, the fact that Gerrard even put himself in the position where he would be expected to comment on his teammates and say things that you would normally only say in the dressing room speaks volumes.

When a player hangs up his boots, it is all well and good for him to become a pundit – Gary Neville has shown how well that can work (his brother, not so much) – players can even offer their views on a game their side is not involved in. There is not much harm or potential for conflict there and when they are injured or suspended, why not.

One thing they absolutely should not do however is agree to go on TV and talk about their team during a game. Unless they want to stick to the party line and be as magnolia as most people’s walls, there is no way it can end well.

Imagine if a Liverpool player made a massive error at the back and cost the side a goal. Would their skipper, the man they look to for support and encouragement, then single them out on the replays in the studio? What about if a player was sent off. You can see how it goes – and the Balotelli incident was case in point.

Players need to realise they should not be talking about their club and teammates on TV as a pundit and if they feel the desperate need to, at least show some diplomacy and sort their issues out in-house.

Liverpool fans. Do you think Balotelli was right to take the penalty? Let us know your thoughts below, become a guest blogger or tweet us @LaFootyettes.

8 thoughts on “Liverpool skipper Gerrard showed exactly why players should not be pundits

  • Bhagat
    7 years ago

    Hendo and sturidge were still arguing with him at the time he was going to shoot. As if they wanted him to miss it. All 3 were unprofessionnal.

    Reply
  • Sujith
    7 years ago

    Jordon Henderson is being groomed as the next captain of Liverpool.. It was the perfect opportunity for him to show the supporters he is capable of handling the pressure.. He’s going to be one of the important players for Liverpool over the next few years.. Balotelli on the other hand is an idiot who plays for himself..

    Reply
  • Linggam
    7 years ago

    Baloteli is right to take the Penalty

    Reply
  • John Williams
    7 years ago

    Bill Shamkly would have torn Gerrard’s head off as he never criticised his team in public. If that was an example of Gerrard’s management style we might as have Souness back. He was a great player too but….

    Reply
  • Razman
    7 years ago

    Am truely disappointed in steven gerrard… Why is he trying to cause confusion bdtween the players… Stop talking about rules because some rules are maint to be violated.

    Reply
  • LT
    7 years ago

    Spot on. Everything you’ve written is exactly what my mates and I said last night.

    If you want to be hyper-critical, it’s actually Stevie disrespecting Hendo: Hendo is the captain on the field and if he’d felt strongly enough about it he’d have inisted on taking it. Perhaps Hendo made a pragmatic on-field decision and decided to accede to Mario’s request/demand for exactly the reasons he stated in his post-match.

    I’m not a big fan of making Hendo captain, but the way he conducted himself in the post-match showed great diplomacy and warmed me to the idea of his stewardship.

    Stevie hasn’t been ripping up any trees on the field lately, but last night was the worst performance I’ve seen him give. He’s added pressure onto a player who appears to be moving in the right direction and has started performing for the team. Not what’s required from the club captain!

    Reply
  • Tony9ja
    7 years ago

    I think both Sturidge & Gerrad should be ashamed of their reactions on the penalty issue. Sturidge was agonizingly poor & selfish yesterday. He wasted many scoring chances & certainly whould have wasted the penalty had he taken it. On the other hand, Gerrard was a disgrace in his comment yesterday. He showed by his comment that he will prefer following rules & losing to winning. It is a pity. He should even apologize to the fans & Mario. I don’t have any issue with Hendo on this matter. However, his performance yesterday & that of Coutinho yesterday showed us that us that we still need a top flight creative midfield no matter the cost. .

    Reply
  • Tony9ja
    7 years ago

    Sorry, I mean we need a creative midfielder

    Reply

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