Fresh from leading his country to the Brazil 2014 World Cup, England captain Steven Gerrard has set his sights on the next landmark in his remarkable career, by netting his 100th Premier League goal for his beloved Liverpool.
Gerrard currently stands on 99 goals, and he hopes that he can reach the milestone sooner rather than later, aiming to get on the scoresheet when the Reds take on Newcastle at St James’ Park on Saturday.
His first chance comes in a game which regularly produces goals, with the last 0-0 draw between the Reds and the Magpies coming in 1974. Newcastle will also have a clear memory of the 6-0 drubbing they received in the same fixture last season.
But manager Brendan Rodgers has accepted that his side won’t find it as comfortable each time they travel to the north-west, though he is hoping for a similar outing as they look to keep up their Premier League title challenge.
“We won't go there too many times and win 6-0," Rodgers admitted. "We were outstanding in the fixture last season and we will be hoping to put in a similar performance.”
Rodgers was full of praise for his captain, claiming that his goal against Poland on Tuesday summed up his career and provided a stark reminder that he remains a world-class player.
"It's remarkable really," he said. "People talk about what a great captain Steven is and what a great leader but what often gets lost is that he is still a world-class footballer. A great big talent. That England goal summed him up. He broke forward with power and pace and, just when it looked like the ball was getting away from him, supplied a great finish.
"He is probably the best player I have ever worked with, certainly the best I've seen when the tempo in a game is really high. I have been fortunate enough to work with some world-class players at Chelsea and some great technicians at Swansea. He is just exceptional. A remarkable man and a remarkable captain. England should be honoured to have someone like that, on and off the pitch."
Rodgers also acknowledged that Gerrard is likely to retire from international football at some point after next year’s World Cup, but he says in his opinion that he could still maintain the level required at to play on the world stage.
"He's so professional, the way he looks after himself, I think he's still got a number of seasons to look forward to," Rodgers praised. "He's a wonderful ambassador for England and for the game. He doesn't say a great deal but, when he does, all the players listen whether they are juniors or seniors.
“He is at the stage of his career where everybody looks up to him. Jack Wilshere is bound to learn from him and so are all the other boys in the England squad."
The Northern Irishman revealed that former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp, who now coaches Queens Park Rangers in their quest to return to the Premier League, approached him regarding the assistant manager role should he become the manager of England.
"I was at Swansea at the time and I would certainly have considered it, because I have total respect for Harry and I would have liked to work with such a talented group of players," admitted Rodgers, with the conversation in question happening when he was favourite to take on the job back in 2012. "It was only a quick conversation, Harry just took me to one side after a Swansea game. He was very confident about being offered the job, though the rest of the country thought he was going to get it at the time.
"In the end there was no decision to make, and I am happy with the way things turned out, but it was a unique conversation and a great honour for me to be asked."
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