Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Steven Gerrard insists, that after time, he and Wayne Rooney can strike up the kind of productive attacking partnership for England as he enjoys with Fernando Torres at Liverpool.
Gerrard played in a free role behind Wayne Rooney in Wednesday night's 1-0 defeat against France in Paris and looked dangerous in patches during the first half, but the partnership came to abrupt end at half-time as Fabio Capello made changes.
The use of Gerrard behind Rooney is clearly an option Capello seems keen to explore, but some corners of the media are sceptical that the two scousers can replicate club form on the international stage.
However, Gerrard maintains the two just need time.
Gerrard said: "I've been playing that role for Liverpool. I've been enjoying it. To play with players like Torres and Rooney is always a pleasure, and I'm involved and I can get forward.
"I don't know if it's my best position. I'm a central midfielder; I've played there all my life but I do feel as if I can cause problems in there and I can adapt to the role - but I'll need more time.
"I am still learning that position. I think I've played it 10 to 15 times but I am confident I can make it happen in there."
He added: "I think Wayne slightly has to adapt his game as well - because, for me to get space in there and for it to work, he has to play a lot higher and stretch the defence.
"I think that is why I and Torres are having a lot of joy, because he is so direct and plays high up.
"With two holding midfielders behind us, the team are a lot more secure when they lose the ball. Wayne will have to adapt his game - but if anyone can do it, it is him.
"I've seen him do it with Manchester United. He destroyed us at the weekend with his direct running and making it very difficult for defenders. I am sure both of us can make it work.
"It is going to take time. We've had two games together, four or five training sessions - and it is a brand new set-up, not just the manager but the whole coaching side.
"It will take time for us to adapt to each other, but I think there were signs of improvement there against France."
Commenting on the defeat in Paris, Gerrard urged people not to go overboard in their analysis, and to look at the bigger picture.
He said: "You don't want to lose a football match. But you look at the game as a whole, and there was a slight improvement on the performance against Switzerland.
"It is all about patience and getting used to what the manager wants. I think there were signs of that in Paris, certainly in the first half.
"We were happy, controlling the game. But we conceded a stupid goal - which we will have to eradicate in the future.
"The message is that everyone has to be patient. We need time to work on different formations and tactics."
"The important thing is we peak in September," added Gerrard.
"We all know when the important games are in the World Cup qualifiers, but it is important now to start getting it right before we go into those games.
"The manager wants us to be a lot more aggressive without the ball and pass it a lot more - and we controlled the game first half.
"Without the ball, France couldn't play. Up until the goal, which was a stupid goal to concede, we were comfortable and in charge."