Losing Gerrard

Seeing your hero become the villain

It is a peculiar sensation watching your childhood idol stray further and further away from everything you hoped them to be. We are often told not to view footballers as role models. Don’t put these people on pedestals. At the end of the day, they are merely the same as the rest of us but happen to be good at kicking a football around. Make no mistake about it, Steven Gerrard is THE person every child on Merseyside wants to emulate.

READ MORE: Nothing Understandable by Adam Beattie
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It is the same familiarity and sense of normalness that can often make them disappointing you even tougher to stomach. They don’t owe us anything, our childhood heroes. These legends became great and did everything we grew up dreaming of doing.

Not Ready To Let Go Yet

Trent Alexander-Arnold may have, in reality, overtaken him as far as the big honors are concerned. TAA may well go take Stevie’s mantle in the years to come. But for now, Gerrard is still the man everybody associates with the red half of Liverpool.

He lifted the European Cup for his boyhood club in front of my 11-year-old eyes almost two decades ago. This allowed Captain Fantastic to follow in the footsteps of some of the club greats.

It broke my heart when I waved goodbye to him as a fully-grown adult at home against Crystal Palace in May 2015. However, his movements in the years following have left a bitter taste.

Trying To Get Home

Steven Gerrard appears intent on finding ways to continually outdo himself in managing the worst set of lads, at least in my eyes. Of course, that isn’t the case or even remotely how these things work. But when you’ve formed such an intense emotional attachment to a human you have never met, you can’t help but feel some level of disenchantment.

As somebody who very much leans towards the green and white side of Glasgow, his move to Rangers was something of a kick in the teeth. With all that being said, it was an understandable first step to get into club management.

At that stage, there was a pathway to the Liverpool job. We all knew that was what he was working towards in his mind. If we’re all honest, we were all hoping he would prove himself to be the ideal candidate one day.

Sleeping With The Enemy

Rangers are undeniably an enormous football club. His tenure gave him an opportunity to sample the pressures of coping with a massive fanbase while simultaneously not having a great deal to lose. The two-horse race nature of Scottish football provides that safety net.

From a purely footballing perspective, it was a fruitful spell. Stevie G’s men halted the all-conquering Celtic side from their holy grail, a tenth consecutive SPL title.

He then moved to Aston Villa. On the surface, this was once again a sensible club for a manager plotting his path to the Anfield hot seat. Nevertheless, this was once again a club with a traditionally right-wing fanbase.

It left me feeling slightly uneasy from a purely selfish perspective. It was still a viable switch if you stepped back to view the bigger picture. However, what happened next was inexcusable career suicide for a manager with any ambition to fulfill his ultimate goal.

Gerrard Waves Goodbye

Setting aside the sport-washing and moral implications of joining the Saudi Pro League, Gerrard was throwing away any hopes of one day managing Liverpool. To take this gig, he must have been fully aware of that.

ASTV Shorts: Stevie Helping From Afar?

There was a time not so long ago when the Reds would have shopped below the top table of the managerial market. But in a post-Jurgen Klopp world, only the best will get within shouting distance of the shortlist.

Steven Gerrard is a multi-millionaire taking quick paychecks to promote the Saudi project. Bizarre adverts like the Cristiano Ronaldo “Goat” spot indirectly advocate for the oppressive regime.

It does not sit in line with what I see to be the values of Liverpool Football Club. The pain is even greater seeing it come from a former captain from the city. It kills me a little inside to say that.

“No More Heroes”

Jordan Henderson joining Gerrard at Al-Ettifaq after being such a forthright campaigner for LGBTQ+ rights was even more saddening. Rightly or wrongly, we held Hendo to a higher standard than most. That is why perhaps he received more criticism than any other player or manager to join the exodus to the Pro League.

Ultimately it goes back to what I said at the top, these are just footballers.

They are our heroes. But what we want from our heroes is to uphold the values we hold and to act in the way we hope we would because, ultimately, they are living the life we’d give anything to live.

Who knows what I or any of us would do if those sums of money were pushed in front of us at a negotiating table? But with those riches comes completely valid scrutiny.

The overhanging possibility of Mohamed Salah being next still looms in the background. This adds enormous weight to the idea that Liverpool fans have refused to fall in love with an individual player since Fernando Torres.

I don’t believe for a second that he would, but if Klopp was to make “the move” I think that might be the point which I call it a day as far as football is concerned.

Steven Gerrard the footballer will always be my hero. But over time, I’ve come to the realization that that doesn’t necessarily need to reflect on what I want from a hero. It is just a game and a hobby at the end of the day. We need to allow ourselves to keep the magic alive as much as possible.

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
  1. Ugly Crying and Tissues
  2. Two Week Notice
  3. Having Fun Again
  4. The Turkish Rodeo
  5. Glimpse of Hope
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