Despite many of the mainstream media unfairly labeling £18m summer signing Alberto Aquilani a ‘flop’, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard has seen enough in the few glimpses of action and on the training pitch to praise the Italian.
Of course, Aquilani was signed as a direct replacement for Xabi Alonso and Gerrard sees similarities in the two players.
“He sees a pass, he’s on the same wavelength and he can dictate the tempo of a game. I don’t want to tempt fate, but he’s very similar to Xabi,” said the Reds captain.
“It’s going to take Alberto a while to get up to speed, with his injury problems, but the boy is a player, there’s no two ways about it,” he told Zoo magazine.
Speaking of the team’s poor form and league position this season, Gerrard told:
“The table never lies – we haven’t been good enough. We are in this position for a reason and it tells us that we really haven’t been good enough – and the players have to take responsibility for that.
All us players have got to roll our sleeves up and get this football club back where it belongs – as far up the table as possible.
It has been hard to take this season. We’re all very disappointed with the way things have gone, especially after finishing second last campaign.
There was a big belief we could go all the way. But now is not the time for hiding. We have to look at ourselves and put it right.
We must aim for the top four – and that is something big to play for still. It’s a priority now, as it always is at this club – for financial reasons and because all top players want to play in the Champions League, me included.
I still think we can turn the corner. As captain, I’ve got to make sure that happens. It’s fine looking at why it’s happening, but we need to put it right on the pitch.”