Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard says that England manager Fabio Capello has given him the freedom of the pitch at this year’s World Cup in South Africa.
Capello predominantly employed Gerrard on the left wing in England/’s qualifying campaign, but an increasingly free role could open the door for the Reds' midfielder to repeat his orchestral club performances for the Three Lions.
“The manager wants me to play with freedom, to express myself. Obviously it's starting from the left but he doesn't want me to stay in the one position, he wants me to move round and cause the opposition problems by getting in areas where they don't want me to be,” Gerrard said.
“I think it's just all about trying to take the game by the scruff of the neck and control the game, make sure you're on the ball as much as possible and try and dictate when the game quickens up or when you slow it down.”
A role with greater freedom could prove vital to England, who have often missed Gerrard’s driving force in midfield when the Liverpool man is pushed out wide.
The lack of suitable options for the left wing position has seen the 29-year-old sacrificed to take up the role, but with emerging talents such as Manchester City's Adam Johnson in the squad the burden may have been somewhat lifted off the midfielder’s shoulders.
Gerrard has excelled in a free role at Anfield over the years, taking on a far bigger responsibility to great effect.
The midfielder has regularly demonstrated his abilities to save his team when needed most, but unfortunately he has not managed the same impact for his nation.
But now Gerrard will be hoping that his proposed freedom materialises in South Africa, finally allowing him to have the influence on England that has epitomised his club career.
By Joe Brewincomments