Post-Gerrard Era?

Gerrard signed a deal to go to the LA Galaxy after the end of the Premier League season. Thus, the team needed to prepare for the post-Gerrard era.

Well, due to injury, the team is finding out what life might be like as Gerrard has been out since he was substituted 2/3 of the way through Liverpool vs. Tottenham(2/10).

Since that time, Liverpool defeated Crystal Palace, Southampton, and Manchester City in convincing fashion.

The two legs against Beskitas were probably the most difficult games for Liverpool in this stretch. Liverpool got a one goal lead in leg one and were trying to hold on in leg two. Would Gerrard's presence have made a difference in that leg two away match in rowdy Istanbul site of one of his past glories?

Perhaps, he would have helped them get a second goal in the first half changing the complexion of the game. As it stands, the team missed some opportunities which ultimately came back to haunt them. Would Gerrard have made a difference? Perhaps, so.

But clearly in the second half, the team was less crisp and were starting to get over run and tired out. An aging Gerrard might have been a liability in that situation. On the other hand, you can be sure if Gerrard was on the field for the penalty kick shootout, Lovren would not have been one of the five selected and the shootout might have kept going.

In any event, Liverpool will have a few more matches without the iconic Gerrard. At this moment, it does look like the team will carry on just fine without Gerrard in the near term and in the next season.

The big question for Rodgers is how will he use Gerrard when he is in fit form? Initially, Rodgers did not start Sturridge when he became available. So perhaps Gerrard might be a second half substitute for the first game or two he is back. But in short order, I would imagine Gerrard would start most games but be substituted out in the second half to keep his legs fresh for the final push for the top four especially in games where Liverpool gets out into a lead. Rodgers will want him full-time in the high pressure matches against Chelsea (5/9), Arsenal (4/4), and Manchester United (3/22).

As for FA Cup matches, if there is a possibility of penalty kicks, Gerrard will be on the field!

UPDATE: ESPNFC has a piece on the ending of the Gerrard era and how Liverpool should draw up its line-up card.
Excerpt:
It has taken the 3-4-2-1 system Rodgers conjured to try to shoehorn Gerrard into his team but away from the midfield and made it work. So well, in fact, that now the question is not so much how Liverpool cope without Gerrard, but whether he gets back in the team for the final hurrah so many think is his due.

There is also a video in the article where Shaka Hislop suggests that Gerrard might best used as a rotation player. Indeed, the longer he is out and if the team continues to play well, it would be hard to automatically put him back as a starter and to give him the lion share of minutes if there are healthy younger players available.

Update: And still more on the tough decisions Rodgers may have on how to utilize Gerrard in the final stretch of his Liverpool career.

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