Liverpool v Tottenham: Reds are not reliant on Steven Gerrard, insists Brendan Rodgers

The captain has scored crucial goals throughout the season

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard continues to deliver in the big moments but manager Brendan Rodgers insists his side are no longer reliant on the midfielder - or anyone else - for inspiration.

The 33-year-old's superb free-kick broke the deadlock in the 2-1 victory against a resolute Sunderland side in midweek to put him within one goal of club icon Kenny Dalglish's tally of 172.

To get close to such a number is testament to the England skipper's quality and longevity and after nine goals in his last 13 matches, including four in his last four, he is enjoying his best Premier League goalscoring season since 2008-09 (when he scored 16 goals) with 11 playing in a midfield holding role.

"It is incredible really," said Rodgers of Gerrard moving close to equalling Dalglish.

"Moving him back into that controlling position has not stopped his goal threat and he can dictate the game from behind.

"For most of his career he has played as an attacking player and been one of the world-class players so to get to those numbers and to maybe equal someone of Kenny's quality and status just shows you the true quality the guy has.

"He has a few more years left to go yet to hopefully score more goals."

 

While Gerrard's influence to Liverpool cannot be underestimated he has a number of players around him now which means he is not the sole source of inspiration and game-changer.

Prior to Wednesday's match Sunderland manager Gus Poyet suggested Liverpool would be a mid-table team - instead of second - without the 28 League goals of fellow Uruguayan Luis Suarez.

"That is probably quite disrespectful to the other players," added the Reds boss.

"In my time here we've had Luis out and won games, we've had Steven, (Philippe) Coutinho, (Daniel) Sturridge out and won games.

"When Luis was playing the team finished eighth and seventh (in the previous two seasons) so it is not just about one player, it is about creating a collective spirit and quality to our game and that is what we have done."

However, Gerrard remains their biggest presence on the pitch and the sight of him berating his defenders after they conceded a soft goal at a corner against the Black Cats, or audibly shouting at Raheem Sterling to "get it in the corner" as they tried to see out the game, highlighted that.

"He is a guy who steps up in the big moments in games; when we need something special in the game the other night he stepped up and scored so there is no doubt people look to him - but it shouldn't just be Steven's responsibility," said Rodgers.

"You saw him the other night giving orders to the team, which is important because it is too late if you are in the changing room and have conceded a goal.

"He is very short, sharp and concise with his information but his qualities are continual every day and it is not just at this point in time, his leadership is first class.

"I think his status as one of the leading players in the world over the last number of years means he has that respect and I think you have seen from his performances he still has that big quality in his game."

Liverpool's title chances will be tested again this weekend when Tottenham visit Anfield and while Rodgers has continually defended his squad's ability to cope with the pressure he has now had to assess his own suitability due to his relative inexperience.

"In terms of management this will have been my fifth season but I've been stood on the touchline for 20-odd years and this year I have been able to put into practise what I have been working on for many years," said the 41-year-old.

"Although there is still a lot for me to learn, it is not as if I am new to it.

"Other squads have much greater depth and maybe better individuals than us but we are showing we are developing and we are looking to put something in place not just for one season.

"We are looking for sustainable success and that might be different for other clubs.

"If there is any pressure it is on other teams."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Ashton Kutcher speaking at Human Rights Watch's Voices For Justice dinner in November 2013
people'What is so wrong about digging up dirt on shady journalist?'
Life and Style
Jane Merrick rides on a Micro Scooter through St James's Park, on November 18, 2014 in London, United Kingdom.
life
Arts and Entertainment
Babysitter Katie and Paul have terse words in the park
tvReview: The strength of the writing keeps viewers glued to their seats
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
American singer, acclaimed actor of stage and screen, political activist and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson (1898 - 1976), rehearses in relaxed mood at the piano.
filmSinger, actor, activist, athlete: Paul Robeson was driven to a miserable death. His story is to be told in film
Sport
Qatar has very little football history

It is a crazy place to play in summer, writes Paul Scholes

Life and Style
Make-up artists prepare contestants for last year’s Miss World, held in Budapest
fashion
News
Actor Dave Prowse in his role as the Green Cross Code Man in 1982
peopleStar Wars actor to reprise his other role - as the Green Cross Man
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Brit Marling as PR woman Liz Garvey
tv

It was all about Liz’s cocaine-fuelled brainwave, 'The Metwork'

Voices
The Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad and Russia’s deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov flank Fifa president Sepp Blatter
voices
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

Immigration: Obama's final frontier

The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines