Berger: Liverpool not maximising Gerrard skill
Manager Brendan Rodgers pushed Gerrard deeper in midfield in an effort to extend the 34-year-old’s career, and the veteran responded with prominent displays as the Reds challenged for the title last season.
But Berger believes curbing the attacking instincts of a player of Gerrard’s quality is a flawed tactic, and may be a source of the side’s impotence up front this term.
“He’s 34 but still has such quality,” the Czech, who played alongside Gerrard from 1998 to 2003, told FourFourTwo.
“In my eyes, he’s playing in the wrong position. He should be higher up the pitch, shooting, creating chances, finding solutions. He’d be more useful elsewhere.
“He still plays well where he is, but he isn’t used where he can make the difference. He still has the quality to do that.”
Gerrard came through Liverpool’s academy and has been a fixture at Anfield for nearly 16 years, but recently claimed he would consider a career away from Merseyside next summer if the club failed to renew his expiring contract.
And although Berger would not rule out such an eventuality, he still believes it would be in Liverpool’s best interests to ensure their talisman hung up his playing boots there.
“When I was at Liverpool, I thought Robbie Fowler would never leave because he was scoring for fun, yet the club sold him,” he said.
“Obviously, Gerrard leaving can happen, but I don’t think it would be the right move after all he has done for the club. They should find him a new deal and make him stay for good.
“He had options to go to Real Madrid twice, but turned it down because he wanted to play for Liverpool, and has now won everything there domestically apart from the Premier League.
“He also quit England, probably because he wanted to prolong his club career, and I think it would send the wrong message not to give him a new deal.
“It still may happen, exactly the same as it ended for [Frank] Lampard at Chelsea. On the pitch, though, Gerrard has plenty to contribute still.
“If I was his manager, he would always be in my starting XI — just played in a different position.”
Patrik Berger and the Liverpool Legends will be appearing at The Castlewood Group Liverpool Masters on November 15 2014 at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.