Veteran players mentored a young Steven Gerrard when he was breaking onto Liverpool’s first team in the late 1990s.
Now 33, Gerrard has a similar role with the current crop of Liverpool youngsters, who have been instrumental in Liverpool’s rise to Premier League title challengers.
Following Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Manchester United, Gerrard told LiverpoolFC.com that the relationship between veterans and youngsters will continue to be a cornerstone of long-term success at Liverpool.
“I think the key to this football club is to always have top players who are experienced and who have got the know-how to look after young players,” he said. “I think the form of (Raheem) Sterling, (Joe) Allen, (Jordan) Henderson, (Jon) Flanagan, to name a few, has been excellent — and we’ve still got other youngsters who are just about to peak. We’ve got a fantastic mixture of age from young to old.
“I’m feeling the oldest in the group now. They keep me young, and they keep me working hard. I’d love nothing better than to lead them to a successful season.”
Gerrard forged his reputation as an all-action midfielder, but he has embraced a move to a deeper, holding-midfielder role this season. The positional change allows the Liverpool captain to dictate a game’s tempo, spray passes and break up plays, while his younger teammates do what he once did for others.
“They’ve done all my running for me, so long may that continue,” Gerrard joked.