Gerrard Bids Anfield Farwell | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Gerrard Bids Anfield Farwell

Posted: May 16, 2015 at 12:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Almost seventeen years after making his debut there, Steven Gerrard will play at Anfield for the final time today when Liverpool entertains Crystal Palace in the Premier League.

His last game before he leaves for the Los Angeles Galaxy may yet occur at Stoke City on the season’s final day, but with Liverpool realistically unable to qualify for the Champions League and Palace long safe from relegation, today’s match will serve as his farewell party.

After 708 appearances, 185 goals, 10 trophies and innumerable moments of drama, it will be an occasion of unique poignancy, and the 34-year-old midfielder knows it will be difficult to keep his emotions in check.

“I’m really looking forward to the game,” he said. “I want to win my last game at Anfield. It will be a bonus if I can get on the score-sheet.

“But once the game finishes and I say goodbye to the fans that are here – and I know it’s being televised, so it’s a good chance for me to say goodbye to the fans worldwide as well – it will be emotional, not just for me, for my family.

“I’m sure there will be a few supporters that are emotional too. After 17 years, that’s just the way it’s going to be.”

Gerrard will be granted a guard of honour by both sets of players prior to kick-off, while supporters will display giant mosaics in the Kop and the lower part of the Centenary Stand.

The club will make a presentation to him on the pitch at the final whistle and the captain will then address the crowd for the final time.

Meanwhile, Gerrard has revealed that the team must sign a proven goalscorer if the team is to finish in the top four next season.

Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge combined for 52 Premier League goals last season as Liverpool finished two points behind champions Manchester City.

But the former was sold to Barcelona and the latter has battled injuries in 2014-15, seeing Brendan Rodgers’ men struggle in fifth in the table.

With eight, Steven Gerrard is Liverpool’s leading goalscorer in the league this season – and the outgoing captain said a proven striker needed to be bought.

“To get into the top four, you are going to need a striker who can score 25-30 goals a season. That is just the way it is. That is where we came short this season,” he said.

“It was always going to be tough when we lost Luis Suarez, but I thought we could definitely finish in the top four positions if we kept Daniel Sturridge fit and he could perform like he did alongside Luis.

“I don’t want to stand on the owners or Brendan’s toes – I am just speaking as a fan – but that is what we need to do.

“I wouldn’t buy any more potential in the short-term. I would buy players that are ready to come and fight and win and be successful.”