Please be advised: Rio Ferdinand has decided to grace us all with his opinion on something to do with Liverpool Football Club.
The discussion came about on a podcast, when Ferdinand brought up the issue of club loyalty in relation to Steven Gerrard. Stevie, who is, of course, a Liverpool legend, nearly cut his long career on Merseyside short in 2006 when he was courted by Chelsea at the height of his career. Ultimately, he stayed at his boyhood club until 2015, when he then moved to LA to play for the Galaxy for one year before retiring.
“Let’s look at the Steven Gerrard case, he’s been loyal to them,” Ferdinand said. “He had obscene offers probably from Chelsea, they courted him, they tried every which way they could through players, and what not trying to get him and unsettle him.
“He became unsettled, flirted with the idea a little bit, but actually, loyalty probably made him stay at Liverpool. Whatever happened, he was courted by Chelsea. He decides to stay, and then he gets towards the end of his career and the club don’t want to give him a new deal.”
Liverpool fans who can remember Brendan Rodgers’ fervent attempts to throw Gerrard into various defensive positions in the hopes that he’d find a consistent place for his captain, will find humor in his argument.
It was heartbreaking that Gerrard didn’t retire a Red, but Liverpool’s most impressive success story made the choice to spend one more season getting consistent playing time, landing a huge payout, and spending a year in Los Angeles. When he then retired, the club welcomed him back in a manager’s role for the academy.
That wasn’t enough for Ferdinand, who apparently wanted Gerrard to jump into a player-coach role for the club.
“There was the ability for him to stay there as a player-coach and groom him into being a coach in the system that they’ve got or a manager, but they chose to do something totally different and allowed him to go to LA Galaxy.
“So when you talk about loyalty maybe if the club were being shown an element of loyalty there they might have gone, you know what, because of that loyalty he’s showing us, we’re going to give him a bit back at the end of his career.”
Gerrard’s decision to leave back then came down to playing time, which Rodgers was not prepared to guarantee him. Fair play, the man’s a legend, and he didn’t feel done yet. There’s no way to know if he would have even accepted the kind of offer Ferdinand is describing.
What do you think? Should Liverpool have pushed harder to find a way to make Gerrard stay the extra season?