May 19, 2015

So long, Stevie G

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

Saturday was the end of an era at Anfield.

Steven Gerrard, Liverpool’s legendary captain, played his final game for the Reds in front of a home crowd. While the result wasn’t exactly what was desired – a 3-1 loss to Crystal Palace – there was certainly enough emotion to make even the most hardened of the Merseyside faithful shed a tear or two.

The game was entirely secondary to the event, with the Reds perhaps more inclined to drop points and hopefully avoid the cursed Europa League. Palace only had pride to play for as well, having secured safety from relegation under Alan Pardew already.

The funniest part of this huge farewell is that it had the tone of a player leaving for good, never to be heard from again. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. Gerrard is still going to playing, plying his trade in L.A. Galaxy’s midfield. And when his career officially comes to an end, it’s not like he won’t be welcomed back to Anfield with open arms for a coaching or executive gig – it’s what happens to most club legends in England.

There’s also the fact that Liverpool has one game remaining. Will Stevie G suit up next week at Stoke?

If I were him and Brendan Rodgers, I would leave the captain out of the lineup and keep his “final” memory with the club that of his Anfield goodbye.


A record that many thought was untouchable has fallen in incredible fashion. Robbie Fowler’s mark of a 273-second hat trick has been topped in thrilling fashion. Southampton’s Sadio Mane managed it in less than three minutes against Aston Villa – 176 second to be precise. Now that mark will be one that should stand for a long time … Leicester and Aston Villa both completed their great escapes, securing their places in the EPL next year. Congrats to them for picking up their form down the stretch after some awful play earlier this season … Manchester City has secured a group stage spot in Champions League next season. Now the question is who will be leading the team, who will it buy this summer and can it finally make some actual noise in Europe? … Could David De Gea be done at Manchester United? Arguably the Red Devils best player this season, reports are that he has agreed to terms with Real Madrid. The fact that he went off injured this week could mean that United fans may have seen their stellar young keeper put on the gloves for them for the last time. If he does leave this summer, you have to wonder if the Red Devils stick with Victor Valdes in net, or go shopping for a new young gun.


It’s a harsh thing to say and it’s not likely to happen, but Newcastle deserves to be relegated.

No team has been as dysfunctional and has underachieved as much as the Magpies.

While Newcastle did hold it together reasonably well under Pardew, it has been a disaster since the gaffer left for Crystal Palace.  Now, it is two points above relegation and goal differential isn’t doing it any favours either.

A draw against West Ham and a Hull City win against Man U. Would see Newcastle go down for the second time in recent memory.

This is the sort of thing that shouldn’t happen to a team this talented and team with this much history.

But with an owner that’s hated by the fans and a manager in John Carver that seemingly can’t do anything right, it feels like this side deserves a year in the Championship.

The team’s oldest fan, a 100-year-old man who has supported the club since 1928, has even said that this is the worst season he has ever witnessed from his side.

What’s worst about this all is that I actually picked Newcastle as my Premier League side to support after my Blackburn Rovers were relegated a few years ago – don’t get me wrong though, my love for Blackburn is still strongest.

But now, there’s no way to support a team this disastrous, with such little regard for its fans.

While I will definitely be moving, it’s probably best that the Magpies don’t in the Premier League. A hard reset is what this team needs and getting relegated might be just what it needs.

Follow me on Twitter @danbilicki

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