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Steven Gerrard: A player-coach role would have kept me at Liverpool

Steven Gerrard says he would have been “tailor-made” for a role among Liverpool’s coaching staff alongside being a “squad player”.

STOKE-ON-TRENT, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 24, 2015: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard looks dejected as Stoke City score the fifth goal in the first half during the Premier League match at the Britannia Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Gerrard left Liverpool to join MLS side LA Galaxy in the summer after his contract expired at Anfield, citing a desire to continue playing week-in-week-out.

He admits though that physically he couldn’t play every game, now aged 35.

“Ability-wise, I could still play but physically I couldn’t play every game at my age,” Gerrard says in an interview with the MailOnline. “I didn’t enjoy being sub last season. I didn’t enjoy not knowing if I would be in the XI or not.”

“I didn’t enjoy when Liverpool were in the Champions League, the idea that I might have to miss matches. I struggled to get my head around it.

“Maybe that was selfish of me but I had gone a long time playing every single game.

However, there is one way which Gerrard says he would have accepted a reduced playing role in order to remain at Liverpool – by joining the coaching staff, much like how Ryan Giggs did at Man United. It’s something which he admits himself is contradictory, and couldn’t have been foreseen.

“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,” he sad.

“Those ideas were only mentioned to me after I had announced I was leaving.”

Of course, nobody at the club would have foreseen Liverpool sacking their assistant manager and first-team coach six months before it happened.

“Liverpool replaced coaches Colin Pascoe and Mike Marsh in the summer, so they were looking for a new No 2, or No 3 or No 4. 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.”

LOS ANGELES, USA - Saturday, July 4, 2015: Former Liverpool and England captain Steven Gerrard is presented as an LA Galaxy player during the half-time interval of the MLS match between LA Galaxy and Toronto FC at the StubHub Center. (Pic by Robert Sorey/Propaganda)

Gerrard says he was surprised no such role was spoken about when he sat down with Ian Ayre.

“I was surprised a role wasn’t mentioned when chief executive Ian Ayre sat down with my agent but maybe it might happen one day.

“I’d have stayed on as a squad player if I’d had the chance to learn more about management or coaching. I left with all the doors still open, but yes, I could still have been at Liverpool now.”

Gerrard also speaks of his admiration for Rodgers, suggesting the current Liverpool boss would be the ideal man to replace Roy Hodgson as England boss.

“His man management is brilliant,” he praises, saying Rodgers’ possession-based methods would work well on an international stage.

“If you want someone who would get the team playing and the players would enjoy working with, it would be Brendan.”

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