Paul Parker

Gerrard should leave for Hodgson to succeed

Paul Parker

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Roy Hodgson has been appointed as the
manager of Liverpool for one reason: to restore the team ethic which was so
desperately lacking under Rafael Benitez and the sale of Steven Gerrard will help
that.

It is as yet unclear whether the Liverpool
skipper will definitely be sold but, at the age of 30, Gerrard would be crazy
not to leave Anfield and I am certain that Liverpool would actually benefit from
his departure.

If Liverpool fans are honest with
themselves they would accept that there is an unhealthy over-reliance on
Gerrard, and a cancerous form of social-loafing sets in when a team expect one
man to come through every time.

The Reds have never been about one
individual and, even when the likes of Ian Rush, Kenny Dalglish et al were in
their pomp, there was always a very strong, ingrained team ethic which was at
the heart of everything those sides represented.

Gerrard must leave Anfield if he is to
fulfil his potential as a footballer at this crucial point in his career, and
Hodgson will be secretly thinking to himself, 'I can rebuild this side and
bring the best out of every player
if the hugely influential skipper were to
depart.'

Make no mistake about it, a major
overhaul is required at the club and there is a huge amount of deadwood which
needs to be ruthlessly cut loose, with a young, hungry and vibrant group of
players utilised to form the core of a fresh unit.

Gerrard is a fantastic player and at
very significant moments over the course of the last few seasons he has
fulfilled the monumental expectations placed upon him, but the last campaign
highlighted the grave danger of relying solely on his talent.

Fernando Torres's mentality is far more
troubling, and one thing is for sure: the Spaniard would never play for Rafael
Benitez again.

It was clear that Torres was not happy
playing for his compatriot last season, and it left you questioning whether the
extent of his injuries were really as bad as they appeared. The forward was
patently not happy with the way things were going and a deep sense of
disillusionment set in.

I fully expect Torres to leave the club
this summer to return to Spain: like Cesc Fabregas at Arsenal, he has to put
his own career ahead of the wishes of the fans.

There is absolutely no value in Torres
moving to another club in England and, no matter how much Manchester City offer
him to join the 'project' at Eastlands, he should reject the club's advances
without hesitation.

Torres needs a fresh start, and his
early form at the World Cup in South Africa only serves to demonstrate that he
has got a bit stale and needs to be rejuvenated with a move to a club playing
in the Champions League.

To play in Europe's elite competition is
the very least Torres and Gerrard deserve for their efforts over a sustained
period of time.

I am delighted to see Hodgson given the
job at Anfield as a British manager being given a job at one of the big Premier
League clubs is well overdue.

It is fair to say that his appointment
is not an overly inspiring one for Liverpool fans but, after such an insipid
campaign under Benitez, the club had to get real and bring in a manager with a
stable mentality and an abundance of experience.

Hodgson is a fine gentleman and a very
effective leader when he has a group of honest, hard-working and disciplined
players under his stewardship.

For that reason the 62-year-old needs a
clean slate, and the opportunity to work with a squad not over-awed by their
own skipper: it is time for a new generation of Liverpool players to make the
step up, and perhaps if Gerrard were to leave, it would be the best possible
outcome.

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