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
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
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

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable