Sooner or later, if we're lucky enough, we all get old. The definition of "old" may vary depending on the person and at which point in their life they are — I realised today I started high school eighteen years ago this fall and died a little bit inside — but with "old" comes its sometimes harsh sibling "young", and as Steven Gerrard inches towards his mid-thirties, he's got several young whippersnappers gnawing at his heels each match.
"They've done all my running for me, so long may that continue," Gerrard said, in speaking with the club's website, of Liverpool's increasingly high profile cadre of young players. "I think the key to this football club is to always have top players who are experienced and who have got the know-how to look after young players.
"I think the form of Sterling, Allen, Henderson, Flanagan, to name a few, has been excellent - and we've still got other youngsters who are just about to peak. We've got a fantastic mixture of age from young to old. I'm feeling the oldest in the group now. They keep me young and they keep me working hard. I'd love nothing better than to lead them to a successful season."
If Gerrard is feeling the oldest in the group, it's because he is the oldest player on the squad. Old Man Carragher's retirement left Gerrard, Kolo Touré, and Brad Jones as the only players in their thirties on the team, and while there are a handful of experienced players quickly approaching a point where they'll be able to check the 30-34 box on census forms, only Daniel Agger amongst them has won more than a single piece of silverware with the team.
An impressive trophy tally may not necessarily go hand in hand with the ability to pass on helpful life and career experience to younger players as they develop, but it certainly can't hurt. Having won eleven trophies with the club, no one else is as well positioned as Gerrard to help lead the youngsters to future honours. That the kids are keeping Gerrard and his aging bones young just gives them even more time to develop a deep understanding of what it means to be a winner in the Liverpool way.