Having spent much of the past week delivering tidbits of controversy in an attempt to drum up interest in his second autobiography, Steven Gerrard took a time out from that today to share his thoughts on some of the more recent happenings at Anfield. In particular, the difficult start to the current campaign and an especially crushing defeat to rivals Manchester United on the weekend.
"I'm still dejected from the performance and the result," said the former Liverpool captain, whose current club the LA Galaxy have three games left in their regular season and are nearly certain of a spot in the MLS playoffs to determine its champions. "It's still a bit raw but you have to understand the bigger picture. With the fixtures we've got coming up hopefully we can take six points and start mending the damage."
With confidence in the manager as low as it's ever been, Liverpool likely need more then just six points in their next two league games, against Norwich this weekend and Aston Villa the week after. They likely need to win in convincing fashion, and to also play well in Europe against Bordeaux and the League Cup against Carlisle to round out their September slate. Do that, and just maybe the narrative starts to change.
"I was expecting a big reaction from the West Ham performance and it never came until [late after] the half," Gerrard added, hitting on a point many fans have found particularly troublesome. "When you play the big teams that's too late. You can't react in the second half. The frustrating thing for me was that Manchester United didn't have to do much to win it. I think that's what will be what's hurting Brendan and the players."
Despite all that—and despite that Liverpool spent £32.5M on Christian Benteke and £28M on Roberto Firmino and gave James Milner a £150k per week contract over the summer to provide much needed quality and depth—Gerrard hopes the fans can avoid panicking and instead see a silver lining in the fact Liverpool were missing some key performers against United and that things can only get better when they return.
"The fans are disappointed at the moment but I think it's important we don't panic," he said. "We're missing some big players. I think it's vital Daniel Sturridge is back playing as soon as possible. Henderson has been a big miss and Coutinho's suspension was a hammer blow, so I think they're three big players. If you get those three into the team we will be fine."