There's perhaps been more discussion about Steven Gerrard's role in this Liverpool squad than any other--the twilight of his career appears as though it should be in full swing, but with a manager in Brendan Rodgers insistent on playing the longtime captain at every opportunity, there's nothing to indicate that anything different is on the horizon. Last season he played every minute of Premier League action before having shoulder surgery, and he appears set for a similar fate this season, having yet to miss a start or get subbed off.
Concerns about aging legs and his partnership with Lucas will likely persist until something changes, but there's at least a bit of good news to go along with the continued worry about just how effective the captain has been--to date, he's the Premier League leader in goalscoring chances created:
21 - Steven Gerrard has created more goalscoring chances than any other player in the Premier League this season. Evergreen.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 21, 2013
That's an impressive number, and one that reminds us of what he has to offer even if we haven't felt as though his presence in the starting eleven is always what's best for Liverpool. On Saturday against Newcastle he was afforded plenty of time on the ball with the hosts reduced to ten men, and he very nearly added an assist or two to his tally, most notably with a thirty-yard ball delivered to the left boot of Daniel Sturridge, who could only knock it wide of goal.
We're sure to see plenty more of Steven Gerrard this season, and based on the evidence thus far, it'll continue to be a mixed bag. That he's creating chances is undoubtedly positive, but that doesn't absolve him of the other areas in which he's struggled. Hopefully with the squad nearing full strength we'll see a role for Gerrard that better highlights his strengths and reduces the impact of his deficiencies, even if it means that he features a little bit less as the season wears on.