If you follow football you should be used to having optimism dashed be it immediately or over a long period of time.
However in the case of Steven Gerrard I genuinely thought we had turned a corner re his fitness. Time and time again over the last few years we been given the news of yet another Steven Gerrard injury, he is like my laptop at work it’s not a question of if but when it will break down! However, after a long lay off last season and despite a set back, he looked to have recovered well from his groin problem. Kenny and the team showed immense patience and common sense in slowly and gradually introducing him back to competitive football. This seemed to paid dividends with Gerrard playing the full ninety minutes against The Mancs and getting on the scoresheet to boot.
So just as you are starting to think things are rosy in that particular part of the team, then fate intervenes to give Gerrard an ankle “infection”. This meant he missed last Saturday against West Brom and will also be out for today, against Swansea, plus the forthcoming, meaningless and highly untimely England games against Sweden and Spain. Rumours are that he will be out for longer than that.
I wondered about Gerrard’s injury. “Infection” sounds unusual compared to “sprain” or “strain”. Then you wonder even more when you see him leaving hospital in a protective caste. Add to that various conspiracy theories that have circulating on the internet and you have a puzzle? Get me a doctor! Step forward Dr Kal Parmar, a sports medicine specialist with the Pure Sports Clinic.
“It sounds as though the cut has become infected and that has got into the ankle joint. From there, the joint would be washed out in a minor surgical procedure. There should be no complications from there, it is easily treated.”
So there you, have no reenactment of Kathy Bates’ ankle “operation” on James Caan in the film “Misery”? Instead it just appears that Gerrard, not for the first time regarding his fitness, has been desperately unlucky.
In the past we would have felt Gerrard’s absence more acutely however, slowly we are preparing for life without him – actually we’ve had plenty practice recently! It is probably no coincidence that, in terms of strength in depth, our midfield is the strongest. Said Kenny
“The response from the players has been fantastic. I think it’s a reflection of how strong the squad is now compared to maybe how it was at the end of last season”
This has been a long time coming and we will, sooner rather than later, have to get used to running without Gerrard who at 31, to put it politely, has less rather than more of his expected career to serve!
And so to Swansea today. The last time I saw them play was around twenty years ago when we drew 0-0 with them in the FA Cup at the Old Vetch Field. It was an uneventful game however for me and my friends there is the abiding memory of sitting in the bookmakers before the game and seeing one of our party loudly celebrate what he thought was a big winner on the horses. Sadly as he was celebrating the horse, clear and well ahead of the nag in second place, fell at the last fence – cue vast myth and hilarity from a very packed shop! We finished Swansea off at Anfield by sticking eight past them.
Team wise one assumes that Henderson will replace Gerrard. Jamie Carragher is in with a chance to return however one wonders if Kenny might decide to leave the back four as it is bearing in the mind the clean sheet it kept at the Hawthorns last week?
Prediction? We are playing well but it will be some performance, and some capitulation on Swansea’s part, if they concede eight today particularly given the way they have played so far. For us memories will be fresh from the Norwich game in which another promoted team who have began well were not afraid to play football. Hopefully we can learnt from this and be patient? However, if we have as many chances as we did against Norwich we should be OK. 2-0 to us.
Finally one is tempted to say something about Fergie’s twenty five years in management at the Theatre of Delusion. Something along the lines of twenty five years is the sort of sentence you get for murder? What else would you expect from a Liverpool fan?