I thought that Gerrard could be a star in MLS like Beckham was. The former England captain arrived in LA with a lot of fanfare, but unlike Beckham, Gerrard seems to be in Major League Soccer more for the money than the challenge of winning trophies.
Gerrard had a poor first season in MLS, looking tired and lethargic for most of the season. Part of the reason for that could be that Gerrard kept making these midweek trips back to England to commentate on Champions League games. The former Liverpool captain seemed unable to understand why he was still not playing for his boyhood club and was totally unprepared for MLS:
“Going on the road, playing on turf, playing at altitude, playing in humidity, those are the hurdles that I’ve had to face over the last three months that I wasn’t aware of. Every away game has a different challenge,” said Gerrard at the end of last season.
Seven months on from those comments and Gerrard is still pining for a return to Merseyside, saying over the weekend that he plans to return to Liverpool ‘sooner rather than later’.
Speaking at a fans’ question and answer session at LA Galaxy’s stadium, he said:
‘I will be going home at some point.
‘I don’t want to start any unneccessary rumours. I’m really happy where I am at the moment. But I’m sure somewhere down the line I will represent Liverpool football club.
‘I miss my friends and my family. I miss a bit of cold weather.
‘I miss going to the games. I spent 35 years in Liverpool. Liverpool’s my home, it always will be. This is my second home for a short period of time.
‘Sooner rather than later I will return to where I’m comfortable with my people – and that’s Liverpool.’
When you look at the career’s of Beckham, Thierry Henry and Robbie Keane, they have all spent time playing for multiple teams in different countries. They have been exposed to different fans, playing styles and cultures.
Gerrard is a one-man team. His entire career has been at Liverpool before he moved to the Galaxy. I wonder if part of his troubles settling in MLS is that it is all new to him. New approaches, new ways to do things, and at 35, going on 36, he is unable or unwilling to change?