Brendan Rodgers will face a dilemma when skipper Steven Gerrard returns from injury. This is Gerrard’s last season at Liverpool and naturally the temptation will be there to play him in most of the matches from here on.
Even if we rule out the emotional aspect, Gerrard’s experience would come handy as Liverpool are aiming to secure the top four place.
Furthermore, Rodgers and probably every single player in the team, believe that Gerrard is the real motivator/inspiration behind and possesses the qualities to be considered as an automatic first choice.
Gerrard has played a pivotal role in turning Liverpool’s season around and was in a good form before he got injured.
In normal situation, his return should have been smooth and guaranteed.
And there lies the dilemma. Liverpool have won all their Premier League games without Gerrard, while the central midfield partnership of Jordan Henderson and Joe Allen has blossomed in his absence.
With only 10 games remaining, last thing Liverpool need is to break the winning combination and disrupt the momentum.
From tactical aspect, the duo of Henderson and Allen brings pace and industry in the midfield that decimated teams last season.
While Henderson is a sure starter, Allen is a type of player who gets better and better with games under his belt.
In the last few games, starting with victory against Crystal Palace, we have seen Allen getting better with every game, and producing finest display against the champions in Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Anfield last week.
Much as it pains to say this, as Gerrard is a world class player and a Liverpool legend, for the sake of the team, Rodgers must drop his captain to the bench.