Steven Gerrard As A 'False 9': So Mad It Might Work

An old, lumbering Steven Gerrard up front?! Actually, it makes perfect sense...
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With Brendan Rodgers electing not to buy a replacement for Andy Carroll either by design or perhaps more likely a bizarre misunderstanding with regards to Clint Dempsey, Liverpool do not have enough strikers. There aren't many things that all football fans will agree on but this is a truth so evident that I think we can perhaps all reach universal consensus on this one.

And so Liverpool are left without a recognised senior striker for their trip to Upton Park on Sunday after Luis Suarez rather inevitably picked up his fifth booking of the campaign and Fabio Borini less inevitably broke his foot a few months back. With January still a month away, Rodgers, as has been his task from the start, must find a way to make it work with his limited squad.

An idea that has been mooted by some and one which I think might have some legs in it, is the idea of Steven Gerrard playing up front as a term I loathe to say, a 'False No. 9'. Popularised by Spain and Barcelona and then mentioned by almost every pundit under the sun desperately trying to appear as though they're not out of touch (I'm looking at you Alan Hansen) the 'False No. 9' is a position certainly in vogue at the minute.


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Rodgers is a big aficionado of such football philosophy as evidenced recently by his bizarre David Brent-esque quotes about Suso playing in the previously unheard of position of 'Seven-and-a-half'. Rodgers has also explored the False No. 9 role before now deploying Jonjo Shelvey there in Europa League to some success it has to be said. So the likelihood of opting for selecting Gerrard as a False No. 9 or in the most advanced role is certainly strong.

With Gerrard's legs not what they once were, the marauding runs from midfield are less and less frequent and on the occasion when they do happen they're more lumbering than powerful. But what the all-action midfielder does have is the skill, technique, finishing and experience to thrive playing at the top end of the field.

This seems like a natural evolution for Gerrard, where most players seem to move further down the field as they begin to enter their twilight years, Gerrard has all the skills to suggest he'd be better suited trying to finish the chances at the top end of the pitch rather than take up the quarterback role in which he pings around his oft derided 'Hollywood Balls'. The ever popular Rafa Benitez actually touted the Liverpool captain to finish his career as a striker some years ago when still manager at the club although knowing how many of you feel about Rafa at the moment you may wish to take anything that man says with a bucket of salt.

This is by no means a long term solution and should only be viewed as a stop gap brought about due to circumstance. But this option of "Stevie G" leading the line has the potential to be an effective back up should the unthinkable happen and Suarez gets injured.