Along with Stewart Downing and Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard was one of Liverpool's best performers on Sunday as Brendan Rodgers' side defeated a top four club for the first time this season. It was the latest in a run of strong showings for the Liverpool captain that has seen Gerrard rebound from a shaky start to the season to where he's now playing as well as at any point in the past few years.
It's been easy to take his strong play for granted, perhaps, but the truth is that the Steven Gerrard on display so far in 2013 is a player that hadn't been seen week in and week out for close to four seasons. It's a turnaround that owes a lot of credit to Rodgers as well as Gerrard himself of course, but after struggling with injuries the past few years it's possible most of the thanks for his rejuvenation is owed to the club's new fitness regime.
If the training staff deserve credit for simply getting the player fit enough to make an impact on a weekly basis, Rodgers does deserve his share for convincing Gerrard to look for the quick and simple pass first while deeper in midfield—something he now does far more often than in past years. That focus on playing it safe rather than forcing it when the options aren't there led to an impressive 86% pass completion rate on Sunday, but it still didn't stop him taking on more ambitious passes when they presented themselves.
Meanwhile in defence, a player that started the year facing accusations of at times seeming indifferent when Liverpool lost the ball combined with Lucas to control the middle of the pitch for much of the match despite being outmanned by three Spurs players. It was a credit to both players' workrate, though while many have come to expect Lucas to put in a shift without the ball, Gerrard doing so consistently is a fairly recent development—and something he hasn't perhaps been fully recognised for.
So while Luis Suarez may have had more impact in attack, and while Stewart Downing deserves credit for another match where he was one of Liverpool's best players, giving Gerrard a bit of credit for his recent good form seems like something that's at least a little overdue.
Video by MrBoywunder