After seventeen seasons, Steven Gerrard has two games left in his Liverpool career. He has one game left at Anfield, this Saturday against Crystal Palace. It’s going to be an emotional experience for both the fans and Gerrard, especially once the final whistle blows and the players begin to say their goodbyes to the supporters. First, though, there’s the small matter of a match to play, and Gerrard wants a win.
"I’m looking forward to it and want to get the win desperately," said Liverpool’s departing captain. "There’s no getting away from it, getting the chance to say goodbye will be emotional. I want to put in a good performance, say goodbye to everyone at Anfield. The fans have given me incredible support since day one. I’ve had some highs and lows, but that support has never changed. That will be the most emotional goodbye."
With Gerrard leaving, there will be a need for new leaders to step up. There will also be the need to strengthen the squad if Liverpool are to get back into the top four, something that would have needed to be done no matter if Gerrard’s immediate future lay in Liverpool or Los Angeles. On that front, the club’s long-serving captain is hopeful the owners will back Brendan Rodgers to do what he must in the transfer market.
"There’s a fantastic core group here with potential, so I’m hoping the owners will back Brendan to bring in the quality we need," said Gerrard when asked by reporters what he believes has to come next for the club. "We got close to the top four after losing arguably the best player in the world and then our star striker getting injured, to still get so close without them, it’s an okay result, but we have to do one better."
The summer, though, and the inevitable excitement and frustration of another transfer window, will have to wait at least a few days. Talk of who might be bought and who should be sold and just how much money might be made available will have to be put to the side, because for Liverpool fans the most important story of the next few days will be Gerrard and his final game at Anfield. And it’s going to be an emotional goodbye.
"I’ve loved every minute of it, or representing the club and its supporters," added Gerrard. "I try to do my best. Others can compare you to players before or players coming through, but I’ve just tried to be the best I can be."