Three Lion’s skipper Steven Gerrard’s decision to retire from England duty following a disastrous World Cup has been met with a contented chorus of relief from much of the Liverpool supporting public — including Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.
England, as per usual, went into the summer’s show-piece event with such high hopes after a promising qualifying campaign sent them to South America on a wave of optimism. After failing to secure a win in their three Group Stage matches, it was more of the same old story as Roy Hodgson and company departed for an early holiday while the real footballing powerhouses duked it out to the last. While the Three Lion’s boss doesn’t seem all that bothered — where’s his performance review by the way? — it was with a heavy heart that Gerrard handed over the armband.
Meanwhile, back on the Kop, news of the 34-year old’s decision was met with something that can only be described as “joyus glee”, Rodgers — though doing his best to sound sombre — couldn’t help but have a pop at the England set-up while at the same time enjoying the new found comfort in knowing that next his skipper will be taking a wee break while the Euro 2016 qualifiers are going on. “Liverpool is everything to him and no doubt missing international football will make him fresher” the Northern Irishman told the press following the announcement. “He will be ready to be at optimum levels, so for us at Liverpool it is great. I spent a lot of time talking to him about it because I know how much it meant to him to captain his country.”
The Reds are set for an increased workload in the upcoming campaign after qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since 2009. It’s quite obvious that Rodgers is starting to look towards a time when Gerrard is no longer at the club with the continued development of Jordan Henderson and the capture of Bayer Leverkusen youngster Emre Can indicative of his meticulous planning, but for the time being, you can’t blame him for having a bit of a smirk on his face now that he knows his captain won’t be returning from the England duty knackered and bunged up anymore…