Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The bright side of Gerrard's leg injury

Despite my less-than-adoring earlier comments about Steven Gerrard, I do have a soft spot for the big lug. I mean, c'mon, it's Geh-RAAAHD! Anyway, he hurt a leg in a meaningless tuneup Liverpool won 4-1 against Valerenga and it's not looking good for him to play in the away leg of the Champions League qualifier against Standard Liege.

This news has some positive elements to spin:

1. Sweet Jeebus, they can't Alonso now! The best benefit, I'd argue, of Gerrard's injury. For the next 7-10 days, Gerrard is sidelined with an injury, and Mascherano and Lucas are in China for the meaningless Olympics tournament where only certain young guys play. The central midfield options for Standard Liege in an away leg of a crucial, everything-depends-on-this qualifer are: Alonso and Damien Plessis. Whoa, that's a short list. Scary, but they should be able to figure this out for the next week or so with those two.

2. Alonso can't go to Arenal just yet. Delaying even the possibility of selling Alonso to fund the Gareth Barry move is awesome in my mind. If they want Barry, they should not sell Alonso to Arsenal to make it happen. Improve a top rival while weakening your own depth. Doesn't sound like a recipe for success. With Stevie hurt, this thing is on the backburner for now – hopefully until well after Sept. 1.

So Gerrard's hurt, but things could be worse. Trust in Xabi. He should stay, and they need him next week.

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