Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed the reason why Steve Gerrard has been able to remain an ever-present in both the Liverpool and England squads over the past season.
A shift in Gerrard’s training regime since Rodgers took over at Anfield has seen the England captain require little rest in between fixtures, and he is set to lead out the Reds for the 400 time on Monday when they take on Swansea.
Apart from a shoulder injury he suffered towards the end of last season, he has been able to maintain his fitness despite the gruelling run of fixtures seen nowadays, and Rodgers claims that a tailored programme specific to the 33-year-old has been created in an attempt to prolong his career.
“You need to analyse the people and what age he is at and the body type he is,” explained Rodgers.
“One of the biggest things in our method of work is the recovery method. Stevie for example plays on the Saturday, recovers on the Sunday doing pulls, stretch and massage, on the Tuesday recovers further with maybe a light jog. It’s a long load of low intensity recovery. Stevie was fit enough to play Saturday, Tuesday and Sunday at the start of this season.
“He has moderate to low intensity recovery programmes. We have individual plans for every player in terms of getting them through the games.”
Rodgers has also said that he is more than happy to give Gerrard extra days off when he he feels it’s fit to, because he knows he will be doing everything in a correct manner to ensure he is ready for the next fixture.
“It depends if you are a dogmatic coach and you think you always have to have the player out there,” said Rodgers.
“Given the culture we have created here, the players want to be out training every day.
“Sometimes with the recovery, they’ll feel they want to do a bit more. But the numbers have shown since we have come here that the methodology of our work physically, technically and tactically helps them on game day.
“They have bought into that and it’s something they enjoy. As a manager it’s your job to orchestrate and oversee that, that’s why when I came in here I needed to bring my own people in as they know exactly what I think in terms of the whole holistic approach to the players.”
Gerrard has already played 602 minutes of football this season, featuring for the entirety of all four Liverpool matches as well as 90 minute outings for England against Moldova and Ukraine – the only rest he has had was in the international friendly against Scotland where he was substituted after 62 minutes.