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Monday 5 December 2016

Steven Gerrard: I would have stayed at Liverpool if Brendan Rodgers made me a coach

Brendan Rodgers, right, admits he will be hard-pressed to find a replacement for Steven Gerrard
Brendan Rodgers, right, admits he will be hard-pressed to find a replacement for Steven Gerrard

Former Liverpool great Steven Gerrard has revealed he would not have left Anfield over the summer if he had been offered the chance to join manager Brendan Rodgers' backroom team.

Gerrard ended his long association with the Merseyside club, whom he had been with since joining the academy aged nine, to move to the Los Angeles Galaxy having been in and out of the first team over the course of the 2014/15 season.

Yet the 35-year-old says he would have accepted a bit-part role and continued into his 18th season with the Reds had he been included in the coaching set-up, which was re-jigged over the summer after assistant Colin Pascoe was sacked and first-team coach Mike Marsh was not offered a new contract.

Instead, Sean O'Driscoll came in as Rodgers' number two, while another former Liverpool midfielder Gary McAllister filled Marsh's role.

"Ability-wise, I could still play but physically I couldn't play every game at my age," Gerrard said in the Daily Mail. "I didn't enjoy being sub last season. I didn't enjoy not knowing if I would be in the XI or not.

"I might be contradicting myself here but what would have kept me at Liverpool into this season was the chance of shadowing Brendan Rodgers and his staff as well as playing. Those ideas were only mentioned to me after I had announced I was leaving.

"I don't know if I am going to be good enough to be a manager, or a number one, number two, number three or number four. Liverpool replaced coaches Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh in the summer, so they were looking for a new number two, or number three or number four. I would have been tailor-made to fill one of these roles, as well as making myself available as a squad player.

"I could have been a good squad player, a good sub, as well as getting management experience that money can't buy."

The former England midfielder, who had captained Liverpool for 12 years prior to his departure, admitted there are times he yearns to be back playing in the Premier League.

"Yeah, I do miss it. I miss everything about it," he added. "When I switch on the TV and see the stadiums, with 50, 60, 70,000 people - the aggression, the intensity, the tension. I am jealous. I miss the build-up, competing with better players, I miss being Steven Gerrard, Liverpool captain and walking out in front of my people with that pressure and trying to get a result for them.

"As much I am enjoying it out here with a fresh challenge, I'd like nothing better than being 25 again and with 10 years ahead of me in the Premier League, playing for Liverpool, but I've had my time."

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