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Image: Deep issue: should Gerrard become a midfield sitter?

Graeme Souness says an aging Steven Gerrard may have to transform into a defensive midfield player.

Souness talks Gerrard, Carroll and Liverpool's hopes for next term

Graeme Souness believes Steven Gerrard may have to adapt his game if he is going to remain the heartbeat of the Liverpool side. The Reds skipper, 31, made his name as a swashbuckling box-to-box midfielder, but his impact has been curtailed over recent years due to a combination of groin and ankle ailments. Gerrard missed Tuesday night's 4-1 victory over Chelsea - the Merseysiders' final home clash of the campaign - with what Anfield chief Kenny Dalglish described as a "slight injury". And Liverpool legend Souness thinks the Whiston-born star, who has racked up over 400 league appearances for the Reds, could operate in a more defensive capacity in the future. "You hope Steven Gerrard comes back fit next year because he has carried this football club for six or seven years," said the Sky Sports pundit. "He is their one 'worldy' and can make the difference in the big games. He would have got in any team that the club has produced and bobbles on being irreplaceable. "Maybe he is just on a downward slope now. I hope I'm wrong, but I think injuries are starting to play a part which happens when you get to certain age.


"He is a player that plays with great athleticism and bursts of energy and as you get older that's when you damage your muscles. "Maybe he will have to alter his game and be a sitter, a holding midfielder, in the future and not burst forward into the box and get goals." Liverpool's triumph over Chelsea, achieved courtesy of a Michael Essien own goal and further strikes from Jordan Henderson, Daniel Agger and Jonjo Shelvey, was just their sixth league win at Anfield this term. Souness thinks some of last summer's recruits, including Henderson and England winger Stewart Downing, have struggled to cope with the spectre of playing for such a hallowed club. But the Scot insists the League Cup winners will take some positives into next season, especially the blossoming partnership between frontmen Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll. "As a Liverpool supporter you've gone home frustrated from Anfield this season on many occasions," said Souness. "They have not scored enough goals or won enough games."
"With what Liverpool have achieved in their history, some players love it but some players can find it a terrible burden. They don't have any easy games as the opposition raise their level and they have to be bang at it every time they cross that white line. "Whatever way you carve it up, they have not done enough this year. When I played, Terry McDermott got 25 goals every year, Ray Kennedy was good for 16, but these midfielders have not chipped in with enough goals. "But they have finished on a high and if Carroll and Suarez can strike up a formidable partnership, that could get you 40 goals a season. And then if the midfielders chip in, they could be amongst the trophies." On Carroll, who gave Chelsea's back four a torrid time on Tuesday evening, Souness added: "With the right service, he could cause havoc against most people. "If you get the right ball into the box defenders will panic because they take their eye off the ball and wonder where he is. "It is all about what picture he is seeing. He was taking up the right positions which he has not always done. If he can learn that, which he can from one of the best strikers ever in Kenny Dalglish, he will cause anyone problems." Should Gerrard alter his role within the Liverpool side? What can the Reds achieve next season? Let us know using the feedback form below...

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